Adelaide beat Saints by four points in AFL
Spearhead Kurt Tippett kicked five goals as Adelaide eclipsed a fast-finishing St Kilda by four points on Friday night to join the top of the AFL table.
The Crows prevailed 17.13 (115) to 16.15 (111) at AAMI Stadium to post their ninth win of the season – level with pacesetters Collingwood and West Coast.
Tippett gave Adelaide an early ascendancy with three goals in the opening term against the Saints, who could slip out of the top eight by the end of the round.
Tippett and his dangerous teammate Jason Porplyzia (three goals) were the chief benefactors from an inspired ruck performance by Sam Jacobs.
The tap-man expertly fed a hungry bunch of Adelaide midfielders headed by the influential Scott Thompson and Patrick Dangerfield.
The Saints, in contrast, had few clear winners apart from Nick Dal Santo, who was a standout with a tireless midfield display capped by two goals.
Skipper Nick Riewoldt and Arryn Sippos also kicked two majors but St Kilda were unable to bridge the early Tippett-created gap.
Tippett’s initial onslaught was highlighted by a soaring mark as Adelaide established a 14-point lead by quarter-time.
Tippett leapt onto the back of Saint Justin Koschitzke and completed the spectacular overhead mark before converting his second major.
His teammate Porplyzia took centre stage with a second stanza purple patch, booting three classy goals as the Crows created a five-goal break on the Saints.
But just as the visitors appeared on the ropes, they hit back with five of the next eight goals to creep back into a free-scoring contest.
Two late goals by Adam Schneider brought St Kilda within touch at halftime, 16 points down.
But the visitors withered in the third as Adelaide powered to a match-defining advantage, the Crows kicking five goals to St Kilda’s two for the term to establish a 31-point buffer at three quarter-time.
But the Crows wobbled when Dal Santo and Riewoldt started final term scoring with goals as the margin was reduced to 21 points.
Tippett then stole the spotlight again, booting his fifth goal to restore Adelaide’s command before two late majors by Saint goalsneak Stephen Milne got his side within 10 points with two minutes remaining.
But the visitors ultimately ran out of time with Leigh Montagna kicking a goal after the final siren to shrink the margin.
Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson was rapt with the victory, but said his players needed to address their inconsistency.
“Our good was very good, our bad was very bad,” he said.
“We’re sitting nine and two, on top of the ladder, but what it does highlight is there is some work to do.”
St Kilda coach Scott Watters said his side had chances to win.
“There is no satisfaction in a four point loss,” he said.© AAP 2013
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