Crows secure berth in AFLW finals series

·2-min read

Adelaide will enter the AFLW finals as a legitimate premiership threat after the Crows sealed a top-six berth with an emphatic 56-point win over the Western Bulldogs.

Ebony Marinoff led the way with 24 possessions for the Crows, who confirmed a spot in the finals with a 12.6 (78) to 3.4 (22) win at Norwood Oval on Sunday.

Adelaide had winners across every line with Anne Hatchard, Rhiannon Metcalfe and Stevie-Lee Thompson important at the contest, while Chloe Scheer booted three goals.

A top-two finish is still a possibility following the win that came on the heels of a 28-point loss to Melbourne.

"It was an excellent response ... as a group they were pretty disappointed," Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke said.

"Obviously last week's game wasn't our best but ... to come out and remedy some of the issues that we had was really pleasing.

"It's the most even AFLW season we've had and to know that we're going to be part of that finals series - which will potentially be the best we've ever had - is a great place to start.

"We've still got a bit of work to do, but to be part of it is really pleasing."

The loss dropped the Dogs to eighth on the ladder, with a 4-4 win-loss record, and eliminated them from finals contention.

"We have a lot of milestones that we try to achieve," Bulldogs coach Nathan Burke said.

"The most games we've ever won in a home-and-away season is five, so we need to win five.

"At 5-4 it's a winning season so we'll work on that."

Brooke Lochland and Ellie Blackburn worked hard for the Bulldogs, but Adelaide's intensity and pressure on the ball carrier troubled the visitors from the outset.

After booting just two goals against the Demons, the Crows flew out of the blocks with three majors in the first quarter.

Bonnie Toogood brought the margin back to 13 points at quarter-time with her first, but the Bulldogs were besieged in the second term.

Adelaide's pressure forced turnover after turnover, Scheer and Caitlin Gould each adding their second goals inside the last minute to send the home side into the main break with a 33-point lead.

Danielle Ponter provided one of the highlights of the day when she climbed high to take a stunning mark early in the final term.

She didn't convert after the big grab, but the clinical Crows finished the job and boosted their percentage with a four-goals-to-one quarter.