K rock Football

Cripps stars as Eagles down Crows

VETERAN Jamie Cripps has slotted five goals to snap West Coast out of the AFL doldrums with a 42-point beating of Adelaide.

Cripps starred as the Eagles ended a three-game losing streak with a 14.14 (98) to 8.8 (56) victory at Adelaide Oval on Sunday night.

For all their apparent recent doom, the seventh-placed West Coast is now a win inside the top eight.

Cripps’ heroics loomed large as the Crows slumped to their fourth consecutive loss.

The 193-gamer collected 25 disposals while fellow forward Liam Ryan kicked three goals from seven scoring shots.

Teammate Andrew Gaff (34 disposals) was influential, combining with Tim Kelly (26 touches) and Elliot Yeo (23 possessions, one goal) to form a dominant midfield.

And in defence, captain Shannon Hurn, Jeremy McGovern and Brad Shepherd took 28 marks between them against a misfiring Adelaide attack – the Crows have managed only 18 goals in their past three games.

Adelaide forward Darcy Fogarty and the industrious Ben Keays (30 disposals) both kicked two majors.

Ruckman Reilly O’Brien (27 hit-outs, six marks) just shaded the Eagles’ 200-gamer Nic Naitanui (30 hit-outs) while Adelaide’s Brodie Smith, also playing his 200th game, collected 27 possessions.

Both clubs entered with shaken confidence after three straight losses – and it showed in a scrappy first quarter which featured just one goal.

Crow Taylor Walker’s strike ended 23 goal-less minutes and gave his side a 1.3 to 0.3 quarter-time lead over the Eagles, whose spearhead Josh Kennedy was a late withdrawal because of a calf injury.

The Crows’ advantage was short-lived: West Coast scored three goals in five minutes to open the second term.

Eagles stalwart Jack Darling levelled scores and goalsneak Cripps then booted two majors in a minute – West Coast was never headed thereafter.

Adelaide got within one point and two points respectively after two Fogarty goals including a superb 50m set shot from the boundary line.

The visitors held a two-point halftime buffer, 4.6 to 4.4, before Cripps again took the spotlight.

First, the livewire crumbed a shrewd Naitanui tap to slot his third goal and, five minutes later, he marked and converted to put his side 14 points up.

Fellow small forward Jack Petruccelle then kicked two goals and the visitors held a 21-point break at three-quarter time.

The Eagles then scored four goals to two in the last term despite on-baller Luke Shuey sitting out most of the quarter with an as-yet-undisclosed injury.

(C) AAP 2021

WEST COAST 0.3 4.6 9.9 14.14 (98)

ADELAIDE 1.3 4.4 6.6 8.8 (56)

Goals: West Coast: J Cripps 5 L Ryan 3 J Petruccelle 2 B Williams E Yeo J Darling O Allen. Adelaide: B Keays 2 D Fogarty 2 E Himmelberg H Schoenberg T Lynch T Walker.

Umpires: Jeff Dalgleish, Dean Margetts, Dan Johanson.

Venue: Adelaide Oval.