Crows fly past Demons to AFLW grand final

·2-min read

Adelaide will attempt to win their third AFLW premiership in five years without inspirational skipper Chelsea Randall.

The Crows progressed to the season finale with an 18-point preliminary final win over Melbourne at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, but the victory was soured by a head injury to Randall.

The two-time premiership player left the field in the first quarter of the 5.3 (33) to 1.9 (15) win after she collided heavily with Melbourne's Eliza McNamara, who also took no further part in the contest.

The league's strict protocols dictate Randall must not play for 12 days if she is deemed to have suffered a concussion.

Coach Matthew Clarke was still awaiting a medical update when he spoke to reporters after the match, but conceded Randall will almost certainly miss the April 17 grand final.

"We'll wait and see, but it doesn't look great," Clarke said.

"We'll go through the protocols and find out in due course.

"To lose her early was obviously challenging for the group but they adapted really well.

"If it plays out that (she is ruled out) then clearly we're going to miss her, but she has a big presence around the group and I'm sure she'll be doing everything she can to help."

The Crows, premiers in 2017 and 2019, will host the grand final at Adelaide Oval next Saturday afternoon after finishing the home-and-away season on top of the ladder.

Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard were pivotal for Adelaide with 35 and 27 possessions respectively.

The Demons, inspired by Karen Paxman and Tyla Hanks, were left to rue missed opportunities.

The in-form visitors, who were shooting for their sixth win in a row, had the upper hand for long periods of the first half but could not take their chances.

Adelaide countered well, with Erin Phillips kicking a goal in the first and second terms to give her side a 10-point halftime lead.

A notable increase in intensity from the Crows after the break allowed Chloe Scheer and Hatchard to hit the scoreboard, the home side leading the goalless Demons by 21 points at three-quarter time.

Eloise Jones provided a highlight for the home crowd early in the final term with a brilliant tap and soccered goal.

Kate Hore booted one back to give Melbourne a glimmer of hope, but it was to be her side's only goal in their last match of the season.

"We're incredibly disappointed," Demons coach Mick Stinear said.

"This group definitely wanted to win a premiership, but the key positive is what we've built this season.

"Hopefully we're back in a preliminary final next year, we've learned from today and can earn our way into a grand final."