24/05/2024

Ashleigh Woodland and Ebony Marinoff celebrate. (Picture: Jack Hudson)

Ash Woodland starred as Adelaide survived a late scare to see off North Melbourne in the AFLW at Norwood Oval on Sunday.

Following up on last week’s goal kicking class, Ashleigh Woodland was back at it again kicking another four goals to help get another win for Adelaide, this time over North Melbourne-Tasmania.

The Crows returned to their home ground this week for a hotly contested game with the Kangaroos who were bolstered by the return of their captain Emma Kearney.

Playing in her 40th AFLW game, Kearney made her presence felt early on, putting pressure on the ball and smothering kicks. 

North Melbourne’s Emma Kearney in action. Picture: Jack Hudson

Kearney was playing in a new role off Half back where she was kept busy by the forward entries from the Crows. Kearney ended the game with a solid performance on 23 disposals and 10 marks. 

“I thought she was terrific, obviously you could see that we were playing her in a different role off half back, she gives us plenty of run, plenty of organisation and communication from down back, I thought the skipper did really well in that new role,” North Melbourne coach Darren Crocker said. 

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It was a tight contest that was highlighted by North Melbourne’s ball movement and their ability to win the clearance early on.

The Roos were covering the whole ground and putting pressure on the Crows backline.

It was the defence of the Crows, led by the ever reliable Sarah Allen that allowed the Crows to get on top.

Their ability to rebound out of their back 50 and find space down the ground resulting in goals. 

Crows forward Woodland was dangerous once again in front of goals. This week she showed her versatility with a more rounded performance. She was moving up around the ground and positioning herself into contests, which resulted in her with four goals, 13 disposals and 7 marks. 

Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke was impressed with Woodland’s performance post game. 

“ I actually think she played significantly better today”, he said to the media. 

“Last week she was good, and ended up on the end of a couple, but today her contest I just thought it was a really strong performance all round.

“We were finding it hard to finish that play so to have someone there who was able to do that was good.”

North Melbourne continued the pressure after half time and were able to slow the scoring of Crows.

In the last quarter there was an air of worry that washed across the ground when they were able to narrow the lead to just seven points with a goal after 13 minutes of play. 

North won the next clearance and got the ball back inside their 50.

It was Sarah Allen again who spoiled the mark and with one of their best pieces of play for the day, the Crows went end to end and sealed the victory with another Ashleigh Woodland goal.

The Adelaide Crows will take on the West Coast Eagles on Saturday January, 22 at 12:10 pm at the Swinbourne Centre in Victoria.

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