MAX King was the difference as St Kilda kicked the final four goals to overrun a brave Adelaide and claim a 21-point AFL victory at Adelaide Oval.
Saints spearhead King booted six goals straight while the Crows failed to make the most of their opportunities in front of goal as the Saints won 14.6 (90) to 9.15 (69) on Saturday night.
King was the star throughout and well-supported by speedster Bradley Hill in his 200th match.
The Saints’ midfield, missing captain Jack Steele due to a shoulder injury, was made to battle deep into the final term before sealing the win, but Hill stepped up with 30 disposals and a team-high 568m gained.
Hill’s run-and-carry and clean kicking stood out in a scrappy contest and helped King do the damage closer to goal.
Brad Crouch was also important in his second match against his former club, with a goal and 14 of his 31 disposals contested.
Jack Sinclair was also prolific with 32 disposals.
Ben Keays continued his strong form for the Crows with 27 disposals and Jordan Dawson was important with 22 touches and two goals but the lack of a focal point cost them.
Brodie Smith was another of the Crows’ best and finished with 28 disposals and 659m gained.
It was a spirited opening from the Crows with Riley Thilthorpe looking lively and kicking an early goal in his first match since round one after a stint in the reserves and later on the sidelines with a knee injury.
But the Crows weren’t able to make the most of their 18-9 inside 50s and trailed 1.5 to 2.1 at the first change after King slotted his second goal just before quarter-time.
The hosts continued their dogged efforts through the second term but again failed to capitalise on the scoreboard, and a 4.8 to 3.3 halftime lead was quickly erased by a goal to Tim Membrey and two more to King.
The Crows’ inaccuracy in front of goal ultimately left the door open for the Saints to make the late charge that now has them well-placed for finals with a 7-3 record.
St Kilda will continue its chase for a top-four spot against North Melbourne next Sunday while Adelaide faces Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.
(C) AAP 2022