Captain Taylor Walker slotted three goals as Adelaide banked a slogging 25-point win against Melbourne on Saturday to remain unbeaten this AFL season.
The Crows won 12.8 (80) to 7.13 (55) at Adelaide Oval with Walker’s scoring output critical in a rain-affected fixture.
Adelaide’s midfield brigade wore down the Demons, with David Mackay (23 disposals), Rory Sloane (30 possessions) and Cam Ellis-Yolmen (two goals) prominent, while Scott Thompson gathered 28 disposals in his comeback from a hamstring injury.
Melbourne lost Sam Frost to a left foot injury in the second term and ex-Crow Bernie Vince will be scrutinised for a high third-term hit on Sloane.
Vince engaged in a furious running battle with Adelaide star Patrick Dangerfield, with his physical tactics prompting a three quarter-time melee which could cost both clubs some coin.
Melbourne were well served by recruit Heritier Lumumba (25 possessions), rugged onballers Nathan Jones and Daniel Cross revelled in the heavy going with 20 disposals each, and Jeremy Howe took a trademark screamer.
But after launching an early raid, Melbourne’s scoring was subdued – they kicked just four goals after the 11 minute mark of the opening quarter.
Melbourne scored the initial three majors and led 21-0 in an opening which stunned the 43,713-strong Adelaide crowd.
But the Crows responded with a triple treat of their own and an Ellis-Yolmen 60-metre bomb on the run edged them within three points at quarter-time.
Adelaide then applied the squeeze and kicked nine of the next dozen goals, including three rapid-fire shots to open the third term, to effectively seal their win.