K rock Football

Dogs edge out Crows in Adelaide

Western Bulldog Ellie Blackburn looks to handball in the one-point win over Adelaide at Norwood Oval. (AAP Image/Mark Brake)

AFTER being outplayed for most of the match, the Western Bulldogs have escaped with a thrilling one-point victory in their AFLW season opener against a very wasteful Adelaide at Norwood Oval.

The Crows will be wondering how they let the match slip as they had more disposals (198-163), contested possessions (89-76), marks inside 50 (8-3), tackles (51-48), clearances (25-9), hitouts (30-12) and scoring shots (12-8).

Jenna McCormick had the chance to put the Crows in front with 32 seconds left, but her shot on goal from 25 metres out bounced the wrong side of the goal post, following the theme of the night as the Dogs triumphed 2.6 (18) to 1.11 (17) in the battle of the competition’s first two premiership-winning clubs.

It was the second quarter that the Crows would rue the most.

They really should’ve killed off the contest but let the Bulldogs off the hook by failing to convert any of their goalscoring opportunities into majors, instead having to settle for six straight behinds.

The Crows were made to pay for that inaccuracy by Bulldogs superstar Katie Brennan, who booted her side’s only two goals of the match in a three-minute burst to give the visitors a two-point half-time lead.

Bulldogs defender Lauren Spark was a colossus in the backline with 11 marks and 14 disposals while Ellie Blackburn (18 disposals) and Hannah Scott (18) were also influential.

Adelaide was well-served by usual suspects Ebony Marinoff (25 touches and 10 tackles) and Erin Phillips, who had 18 disposals, while Anne Hatchard (19 touches) was also a valuable contributor.

The momentum shifted dramatically after three-quarter time as the ball was almost permanently parked in the Bulldogs’ forward half. And despite no goals being scored in the final term by either side, the Dogs’ two behinds proved decisive.

© AAP 2019

WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.2 2.3 2.4 2.6 (18)

ADELAIDE CROWS 1.1 1.7 1.10 1.11 (17)

Goals: Western Bulldogs: K Brennan 2. Adelaide Crows: C Scheer.

Umpires: Nic McGinness, Jamie Broadbent, Tom Bryce.

Official Crowd: 7,830 at Norwood Oval.