Hawks too good for wasteful Crows in AFL

Hawthorn have continued their surge towards the finals, downing Adelaide by 29 points in a scrappy Thursday night AFL contest.

The Hawks held the lacklustre Crows to just one major in the fourth quarter to win 17.12 (114) to 12.13 (85) in front of a sold-out crowd of 50,023 at Adelaide Oval.

After trailing for most of the game, the Crows surged to the lead in the third quarter but faded in the final period.

The home side’s dismal ball use allowed the Hawks to keep numbers behind the contest and set up fresh attacks far too often.

Captain Luke Hodge was allowed to drift unattended as a loose man off half-back and punished the Crows for their inattention, racking up 25 touches, eight marks and a goal in a dominant performance.

Shaun Burgoyne (23 disposals) and Josh Gibson (18 disposals) also provided valuable run off half-back, while Sam Mitchell (25 touches, eight clearances) and Jordan Lewis (24 touches) won the midfield battle.

Hawthorn ran out to an early lead at the midpoint of the first quarter, booting four goals straight until Richard Douglas slotted his second major to stop the rot.

Daniel Talia booted the most unlikely of goals near the quarter-time break to reduce the margin to 13 points, unloading a wobbly kick from a set shot which somehow floated above the pack and through for a goal.

The game threatened to blow open in the second quarter but the Crows held on, with the margin at 16 points at halftime.

Patrick Dangerfield (31 touches) was a lone spark for the Crows, with dangerous forwards Eddie Betts and Taylor Walker well held.

Walker limped through much of the match with a corked thigh and was subbed off at three-quarter time.

Adelaide seized the momentum and the lead in the third quarter, with goals to Charlie Cameron, Betts and Rory Laird.

But the Hawks countered with six straight goals to claim their third straight win.

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