Adelaide’s Walker an AFL finals winner

Adelaide forward Taylor Walker says his confidence is rising after a match-winning display against Fremantle in Friday night’s AFL semi-final.

Walker kicked five goals and set up another in Adelaide’s 10-point triumph at AAMI Stadium which booked a preliminary final against Hawthorn.

Adelaide’s leading goalkicker for the season, Walker missed two shots and gave away a 50m penalty which gifted Fremantle a goal in the second quarter which put the Dockers 27 points up.

But from then on, Walker triggered a fightback which led to Adelaide’s 12.9 (81) to 11.5 (71) victory.

“I probably let the team down … I knew I had to work to get us back in the game and try and put a bit of scoreboard pressure on,” Walker said.

“I had my opportunities early and didn’t capitalise on them.”

Walker’s fortunes changed after the halftime siren, when he converted a 40m set shot from a tight angle to draw the Crows within 13 points of the Dockers.

“It just gave us the energy and the excitement, it gave us a little bit of a spark going into halftime – it certainly got the momentum rolling,” Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson said of Walker’s halftime major.

The Adelaide spearhead then kicked the opening two goals of the third term – and four overall in the second half, including the final goal of the match which sealed victory.

“Big game, I like to pride myself on playing well … to come out and play well gives me a lot of confidence,” Walker said.

“It was really pleasing, as a group we played really well and responded after halftime.

“Freo got a jump on us but it shows the character in the group to fight back and get the win.”

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