Adelaide Crows do a job on Carlton Blues at Adelaide Oval

Pigeon-holed exclusively as a bullocking inside midfielder, Keays excelled in a revised half-forward post, slotting three majors and setting up four others.

Charlie Curnow set up Matthew Owies for the visitors’ first goal before scoring twice himself and the Blues looked on, but he was otherwise well held as the Crows had all the answers.

The new-look Walker-Keays forward tandem worked a treat for Adelaide, the under-siege and progressively under-manned Blues outworked repeatedly and constantly hemmed in their back half, virtually for the best part of three quarters.

EARLY FLIERS

Two marvelous Adelaide marks book ended the first quarter of action.

The match was 20 seconds old when Smith’s long, penetrating entry was marked athletically by Shane McAdam, in front of opponent Lachie Plowman and over the top of Taylor Walker and Jacob Weitering.

McAdam’s kick for goal slewed well wide, the Crows’ early inaccuracy costing them early. On the cusp of quarter-time, Fogarty flew over former teammate Mitch McGovern and pulled down a fine catch.

Hugging the south-western pocket, a far tighter angle than from where McAdam misfired, Fogarty converted on the quarter-time siren to trim Carlton’s lead to three points.

Darcy Fogarty flies high.Credit:Getty Images

PLAY OF THE YEAR

Blistering sequences of magic have been few and far between for Adelaide in recent years but there was one dynamic series of plays which had Crows fans on their feet and epitomized the home side’s ascendant second quarter.

Starting with Fogarty’s physical presence forcing Lachie Plowman to overshoot a handball, Dawson then launched Adelaide forward into open space.

Wayne Milera hunted down Lewis Young on the outside and twice corralled Saad.

Ned McHenry then shirtfronted Adam Cerra magnificently, allowing Harry Schoenberg to pounce and drill a heads-up pass to Keays, all alone in the goal square for one of his three majors.

“Play of the night,” exclaimed Fox Footy commentator Dwayne Russell. “Maybe play of the year for the Crows.”

Best: Adelaide: Smith, Keays, Laird, Walker, Dawson, Worrell, Milera. Carlton: Cripps, Walsh, Docherty, Cerra, Kennedy.

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