Another injury to Rory Sloane and a misfiring Taylor Walker could not stop Adelaide from grabbing a come-from-behind 13-point AFL win over Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night.
Midfielder Sloane was subbed in the third term with a suspected broken jaw while captain Walker (2.5) still appeared hampered by a bruised hip in ominous signs for the Crows.
However, nothing it seems could deny Adelaide (7-5 record).
They dug deep to reel in a 24-point fourth term deficit to earn a much needed 11.16 (82) to 10.9 (69) win and stay in sight of a top eight finish.
An erratic Walker at one stage couldn’t take a trick, prompting one Crows fan to unfurl a banner boasting a target behind the goal-posts.
But all was forgiven when Walker finally rediscovered his radar and kicked a booming 50m goal in the 21st minute of the final term – the first time Adelaide enjoyed the lead.
In the end Adelaide kicked six straight majors and kept a gutsy Lions goalless in the final term to notch a crunch win.
Adelaide’s second victory in three games was a much needed shot in the arm ahead of a tough block of games that may define their top eight chances – Geelong (home), West Coast (away) and Port (away).
The Crows will still be sweating on their talisman Walker who appeared hampered by injury all game and did not register the first of two goals until six minutes into the third term.
And Sloane is another major concern after being subbed in the 13th minute of the third term clutching his jaw.
He had only just come back from a broken jaw for Adelaide.
It was another disappointing fadeout for Brisbane who had hoped to snap a four game losing run and notch their third win of the year and first since May 17.
The Lions have lost seven of their past eight at home, their worst run in five years.
Lions midfielder Pearce Hanley was subbed off in the third term and quickly began icing his knee.
Brisbane kicked the first four goals of the match to jump to a 25-point lead before the Crows reduced the first term deficit to just 12.
By halftime, the Lions led 6.5 (41) to 3.6 (24) thanks to a Hanley goal from a wonderful weaving run.
The halftime crowd saluted Lions defender Matt Maguire who announced his retirement this week due to ongoing concussion problems.