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Hawks find salvation in deadly duo

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Hawks edge Crows in thriller

Hawthorn has booked a spot in next week's grand final after an almighty scare from Adelaide.

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HAWTHORN 2.6  5.10  11.14  13.19 (97)
ADELAIDE 4.1  7.3  10.4  14.8 (92)

GOALS: Hawthorn: Franklin 3,  Rioli 2, Gunston 2, Breust 2, Young, Shiels, Suckling, Burgoyne. Adelaide: Tippett 4, Walker 4, Smith, Johncock, Porplyzia, van Berlo, Henderson, Sloane.
BEST: Hawthorn: Rioli, Franklin, Mitchell, Sewell, Lewis, Breust. Adelaide:  Tippett, Dangerfield, Thompson, Walker, Jacobs, Sloane.
UMPIRES: C Donlon, M Nicholls,  S McInerney.
CROWD: 69,146 at MCG.

DEJA vu can never have felt as chilling for any Hawthorn supporter than during the final quarter last night. It was happening again. A decent three-quarter-time lead in a preliminary final being squandered.

Matthew Suckling and Richard Douglas battle for the ball.

Matthew Suckling and Richard Douglas battle for the ball. Photo: Pat Scala

The lead eventually surrendered with just a few minutes left on the clock. Even a clanger from key defender Ryan Schoenmakers. Exchange Adelaide's jumpers for black-and-white stripes and it could have been 2011.

This time, rather than heartbreak, there was salvation, delivered in the shape of two late goals and some magic from those predictable sources Cyril Rioli and Lance Franklin. The Hawks had clung on by five points in an unexpected epic, averting what would have been the most infamous finals defeat by a hot favourite for many, many years.

Perhaps that will end up being essentially the difference between the Hawthorn of 12 months ago and the Hawthorn that will take on Sydney on Saturday for a tilt at an 11th premiership. A little more steadiness in the crisis, a little more resolve to get the job done and a little more fear - courtesy of what happened last September - of the consequences of not doing so.

But this story can't just be about Hawthorn, because it was Adelaide's resolve to show its credentials as a team - after all, it had finished equal with Hawthorn on points at the top of the ladder - that made this the thriller it was.

At least three times the Hawks looked ready to put an appropriate distance between themselves and the rank outsiders. On every occasion - even right at the death after those goals to Rioli and Franklin, Taylor Walker, with his fourth goal, pulled it back to under a kick and still with one last centre bounce to win the day - the Crows refused to go politely into the night. He was terrific when it counted. This time his key forward partner, Kurt Tippett, who also kicked four goals, hauled down 11 marks and did his share of ruckwork, was even better.

The Crows reliables fired again in midfield. Sam Jacobs in the ruck and, at ground level, Scott Thompson and Patrick Dangerfield, the latter saving his best for when it counted most, winning 11 disposals and three crucial clearances in the last term.

Like the rest of his team, he just kept coming even though the Crows may have lost heart when the Hawks enjoyed their biggest surge of the evening, four goals in the first nine minutes after half-time putting them 20 points in front and prompting the belief that a good early effort was about to be trumped by superior class and execution.

But the Crows had a point to prove to an army of season-long sceptics, who'd refused to believe an amazing turnaround from a 2011 finish of 14th to a spot playing off for a grand final berth could be down to anything more than an easy draw. They certainly won't be taken lightly after this effort.

Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson had spoken during the week about the need for his side to get off to a decent start. Unlike the first two finals, last night he could have had no argument with what he got in response.

After some early Hawthorn misses let Adelaide off the hook, the Crows struck. Tippett had missed one opportunity, but made no mistake with the second after a strong mark in front of Schoenmakers, a pattern that would be repeated more than a little in the first half.

A minute later, it was two on the board, Adelaide visibly growing in confidence and intent, demonstrated by the way Jason Porplyzia attacked a ground ball, winning it and beginning a link-up that ended in a lovely snap from Ricky Henderson.

The feeling was still that it was just a matter of time before Hawthorn stirred, far more so after Clinton Young calmly slotted his side's first from 55 metres out on the run, then Liam Shiels put the Hawks in front again after a 50-metre penalty, the hot favourite by now having double the Crows for inside 50 entries.

But not for the last time, Adelaide showed admirable pluck when a vast majority of 70,000 onlookers relaxed and waited for the supposedly inevitable cave-in. In a game that was far more open and flowing than the tight scraps that had thus far constituted much of this year's finals campaign, the Crows more than held their own in a contest of legs and run, apparent in Rory Sloane's goal on the break from outside 50, then another quick foray forward, Henderson's speculative bomb to the square ending with Tippett again.

Hawthorn by now had almost trebled Adelaide for forward entries and had managed to keep Crow dangerman Dangerfield relatively quiet, but its own inaccuracy and occasional poor decision making threatened to be its downfall, by the time Cyril Rioli missed another opportunity the scoreboard read 2.6 to the Crows' 4.1.

When Taylor Walker put his side two goals to the good five minutes into the second term, the rumblings of the significant horde of visiting fans grew exponentially, the gulps in the mouths of the brown and goal nearly just as audible.

Hawthorn has for most of this season shown a talent for turning on as emphatic a burst of power as anyone. Its first version last night began with Lance Franklin, until then hardly a factor. He cut into slide one through along the ground on his left foot after Roughead had fumbled another chest mark. The Hawks were in front again when Luke Breust bobbed up in the right place at the right time to get on the end of Brad Sewell's hurried kick, and looking all systems go by the time Shaun Burgoyne finished a nice bit of overlap to calmly steer through another.

Again Adelaide rallied, Walker booting the final two of the half, reprising his post-siren effort of last week. Their next rally was even more impressive after those four unanswered majors from the Hawks after half-time. The Crows kicked the first of the final term, then, after 12 minutes without a goal, another in dramatic circumstances.

Last year, Schoenmakers dropped a chest mark that resulted in Luke Ball's match-winning goal for Collingwood. Last night would have weighed more heavily had the Hawks not scraped home, as David Hale's hard-won free kick was reversed after Schoenmakers crashed into Porplyzia, the latter converting. Barely two minutes later, substitute Graham Johncock had, incredibly, put the Crows in front.

The next response was classy. Rioli, shifted forward, slipped in front of a pack to mark and goal from the next centre bounce. Franklin made it an all-important 10 points with three-and-a-half minutes to play after Ben Stratton had laid a critical tackle on Dangerfield, and Rioli got involved again, slipping out the handball to his superstar mate.

The Hawks were going to hang on this time. But if that was an improvement on what happened this day last September, next Saturday will need to be an improvement on what happened yesterday if that flag that has seemed likely for a while now is to be realised.

Quarter by quarter

QUARTER 1 Hawthorn had three shots at goal before the  Crows had taken the ball inside 50. Unfortunately for the Hawks they missed each one and Adelaide put on two goals in two minutes through Tippett and Henderson. Hawthorn was uncharacteristically sloppy, making bad choices and executing  poorly. Sloane  was superb in the midfield for the Crows and Tippett was worrying Schoenmakers, with Walker pushing hard, dragging Gibson away and leaving Schoenmakers isolated.
Adelaide by seven points

QUARTER 2 Walker booted a goal to open the quarter for the Crows and stretch the lead to two goals.   Hawthorn rallied when Franklin squeezed a ball through from a half chance and Breust goaled from 25metres out directly in front (after missing one from the same range minutes earlier) and there was a sense the Hawks were really starting to flex their muscles when Burgoyne got on the end of a chain of handballs to convert. Critically, Adelaide held them up and goaled against the flow through Walker.
Adelaide by five points

QUARTER 3 The Hawks broke the game open with four straight goals, including three in two minutes.  Sewell was outstanding for the Hawks, firing them up in the middle and creating the opportunities for his forwards to score.  Van Berlo goaled off one step after an inventive blind handball from Walker, but each time Adelaide pressed, Hawthorn answered, painfully so  when   a poor kick across goal to Rutten left Rioli with an easy scoring shot. A goal on the siren again gave Adelaide some hope.
Hawthorn by 16 points

QUARTER 4 Hawthorn missed  early chances  and thenTippett kicked his fourth.  The potential game-changer came when Schoenmakers cannoned into Porplyzia’s back to have a free reversed and the Crows converted the kick. Johncock goaled to put the Crows in front. Burgoyne cleared the ball at the centre bounce, delivered to Rioli, who marked and gave Hawthorn back the lead. Stratton tackled Dangerfield when the Crow was a chance to goal and the ball rebounded for Franklin to kick the sealer.
Hawthorn wins by five points

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AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
RIC 105vs COL 100 Stats
BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC 108vs NTH 67 Report Stats
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
GEE 119vs ADE 80 Report Stats
BRI 130vs WBU 122 Report Stats
PTA 122vs FRE 53 Report Stats
HAW 113vs CAR 56 Report Stats
SYD 127vs GCF 64 Report Stats
WCE 125vs STK 30 Report Stats
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
MEL 103vs GWS 77 Report Stats
COL 92vs ESS 95 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
WCE 96vs HAW 64 Report Stats
Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
FRE 69vs SYD 60 Report Stats
WBU 102vs ADE 109 Report Stats
Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
RIC 88vs NTH 105 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
HAW 135vs ADE 61 Report Stats
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 51vs NTH 77 Report Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
FRE 67vs HAW 94 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
WCE 80vs NTH 55 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
HAW 107vs WCE 61 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 22 17 5 0 118.73 68
West Coast Eagles 22 16 5 1 148.22 66
Hawthorn 22 16 6 0 158.40 64
Sydney Swans 22 16 6 0 127.12 64
Richmond 22 15 7 0 123.09 60
Western Bulldogs 22 14 8 0 115.12 56
Adelaide Crows 21 13 8 0 115.71 54
North Melbourne 22 13 9 0 106.45 52
View all

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