Adelaide has farewelled departing veterans Tom Lynch and David Mackay in fine style, the Crows ending a disappointing season on a high note with a convincing 44-point win over North Melbourne on Sunday.
Despite claiming their first wooden spoon since 1972 in round 22, the Kangaroos had been playing an encouraging brand of football since the halfway mark of the season, but David Noble’s men were largely outplayed by the Crows in a first half that set up the 13.20 (98) to 8.6 (54) result at Adelaide Oval.
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The inaccurate Crows led by 17 points at the first break, 24 points at half-time and 29 at the last change before charging home to record the win that left them with a 7-15 record for the season.
It was a fitting farewell for Lynch and Mackay, who played their last games for the club, with both mobbed by their teammates when they kicked last-quarter goals.
The clash between 17th-ranked Adelaide and the last-placed Roos was the deadest of dead rubbers to bring the home-and-away season to a close but both line-ups featured a bevy of talented youngsters eager to impress with an eye on next year.
Mackay played his 248th and final AFL game on Sunday. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
The Crows showed they might be a touch further advanced in their list rebuild on the evidence of Sunday’s performance.
While experienced hands Rory Laird, Ben Keays, Rory Sloane and Brodie Smith led the way, the likes of Matt Schoenberg, Shane McAdam, Ned McHenry, Kieran Strachan and Jordon Butts all played important roles.
The Roos were smashed at the stoppages in the first half and didn’t kick a goal in the second quarter, but it wasn’t all bad news for the Shinboners.
Nick Larkey was a shining light up forward, finishing with three goals, with Aaron Hall, Tarryn Thomas and Jy Simpkin all busy around the ball.
Tom Lynch scored a goal in his final senior appearance for Adelaide. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
McAdam, who finished with three goals, put up his latest candidate for mark of the year in the first quarter. The spring-heeled forward was allowed a free run by direct opponent Aiden Bonar, who copped McAdam’s knee in the head as he climbed up to bring down a screamer.
Thomas followed suit in the second term when he used teammate Eddie Ford as a stepladder to launch for a big grab that was a highlight in an otherwise bleak quarter for the visitors.
SHANE MCADAM SOARS 🛫#imlovingit | #AFLCrowsNorthpic.twitter.com/Idr0CEpD4Z
Lynch and Mackay played their last games for Adelaide, with Daniel Talia also departing the club after failing to play all season through injury. After playing six games in two seasons with St Kilda, Lynch bows out with 164 career games and 203 goals, Mackay retires having made 248 senior appearances, with Talia stuck on 200. Lynch and Talia will likely find new clubs after the rebuilding Crows decided against offering the pair new deals.
Aaron Hall was once again a shining light for the Kangaroos, registering 37 disposals. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
The result had significant ramifications for Adelaide at the national draft. The Crows started the day with the second overall pick in their keeping, but slid down the order to No. 4 with their seventh win of the season moving them into 15th spot on the ladder.
CROWS 4.6 5.9 8.15 13.20 (98)
KANGAROOS 2.1 2.3 5.4 8.6 (54)
PHELAN’S BEST CROWS: Laird, Keays, Smith, Sloane, Schoenberg, McAdam, Butts. KANGAROOS: Hall, Thomas, Simpkin, Goldstein, Larkey.
GOALS CROWS: McAdam 3, Keays 2, Jones, Schoenberg, Lynch, McHenry, Seedsman, Thilthorpe, Mackay, Gollant. KANGAROOS: Larkey 3, Anderson, Scott, Thomas, Walker, Phillips.
INJURIES CROWS: Nil. KANGAROOS: Nil.
UMPIRES O’Gorman, Wallace, Glouftsis
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
JASON PHELAN’S VOTES
3 R. Laird (Adel)
2 B. Keays (Adel)
1 A. Hall (NM)
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