Adelaide have stormed into the AFLW preliminary finals with a 67-point demolition of Sydney on Saturday night.
The Crows bounced back from last week’s shock loss to Brisbane in style to dominate the Swans 12.10 (82) to 2.3 (15) and book a showdown with North Melbourne next week.
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Anne Hatchard racked up a staggering 37 disposals – the most ever in a final – and kicked two goals, as well as taking 10 marks in a virtuoso performance.
It beat the previous record, held by teammate Ebony Marinoff, who recorded 35 touches against Melbourne in 2021.
The minor premier Crows swamped Sydney in the opening half with Hatchard collecting 21 touches as the hosts created a 24-point lead at the long break.
The triple premiership on-baller then booted the opening goal of the second half – the first of three Crows goals in a six-minute span as the margin blew out.
Hatchard and her midfield mates Marinoff and Ponter feasted on the ruck dominance of Jess Allan (25 hit outs) and Montana McKinnon (20 hit outs).
And Adelaide’s attack also fired with Yvonne Bonner, captain Chelsea Randall and Jess Waterhouse slotting two goals apiece to delight the parochial 4688-strong crowd.
Sydney’s Laura Gardiner (20 touches), Ella Heads (20) and co-captain Chloe Molloy (15, one goal) battled gamely against the Adelaide tide.
But the Swans struck early strife as Adelaide dominated territory in a powerful first half – midway through the second term, the Crows led the inside 50 count 22-3.
Adelaide, after slipping to a two-point qualifying final loss to Brisbane last weekend, held an eight-point buffer at quarter-time.
The Crows skipped further ahead when Bonner marked and goaled midway through the quarter and Adelaide accelerated with three goals to one in the second stanza to lead 5.5 to 2.0 at hal-ftime.
The influential Hatchard triggered another Adelaide blitz in the third term with Ponter and Eloise Jones also scoring majors in a half-dozen dazzling minutes.
Adelaide led by 38 points at three quarter-time and, in the final term, added four more goals while keeping the Swans scoreless – the visitors managed only three behinds in the last half.
While the loss ended Sydney’s season, they can still hold their heads up high after reaching the semi-finals following a winless inaugural campaign in 2022.
Adelaide advance to an away preliminary final next weekend against North Melbourne.
The winner of Sunday’s Melbourne-Geelong semi meet Brisbane in Brisbane in the other preliminary final.
– With AAP
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