The Adelaide Crows have home-field advantage on Friday night against the Geelong Cats as they aim to qualify for their first grand final since the club’s back-to-back triumphs in 1997-98.
Throwback Thursday is marking 20 years since their maiden preliminary final victory, a two-point thriller against Western Bulldogs that saw the Crows reach their first decider in just their seventh season in the AFL premiership.
Adelaide finished fourth in 1997 and advanced to the prelim with victories over West Coast and Geelong, the latter by just eight points. But at 29 points down at halftime against the Bulldogs, the Crows’ dream of grand final berth was slipping away.
By three-quarter time the Bulldogs’ lead was still 22 points, but the Crows came home with a wet sail in the final term, kicking 4.6 to the Bulldogs’ 0.6.
The Bulldogs were left to lament crucial missed opportunities in the latter stages, while clutch goals in the latter stages from rookie Simon Goodwin and brilliant veteran Darren Jarman saw the Crows snatch the lead and the win.
The Crows went on to clinch the premiership with a 31-point victory over St Kilda in the grand final, while the Bulldogs’ 36-year grand final drought would extend nearly two more decades before their euphoric 2016 title success.