Adelaide Crows get the better of the Western Bulldogs in 37-point AFL victory
Josh Jenkins (L) and Darcy Fogarty celebrate a Crows goal in the wet against the Bulldogs. (AAP: Kelly Barnes)
Adelaide livewire Eddie Betts slotted four goals in a rain-soaked 37-point win against the Western Bulldogs.
Betts’ Friday night haul included two more specials in the Crows’ resounding 9.9 (63) to 2.14 (26) triumph at Adelaide Oval.
The Bulldogs’ total was the equal seventh-lowest in their 93-year history.
In heavy rain, Betts scored with an outrageous effort, a 50-metre left-footer on the run, for the opening goal of the game.
He later threaded a remarkable drop punt from the boundary line as the Crows defied their injury crisis to bank a sixth win of the season.
The Crows were missing nine topliners, with captain Taylor Walker, vice-captain Rory Sloane, All Australian Matt Crouch and Mitch McGovern among their injured list.
But with Bryce Gibbs (26 disposals), Rory Laird (28 possessions), Paul Seedsman (22 touches) and Betts taking up the slack, they made the Bulldogs pay for waste in attack.
The Bulldogs managed just one goal in the initial three quarters – from Lukas Webb, after a questionable free kick in a slide with Crow backman Daniel Talia.
Bulldog Jack Macrae continued his prolific ball-winning streak with a game-high 36 disposals, Luke Dalhaus (25 possessions) and Marcus Bontempelli (28 possesions) battled gamely but the visitors will rue a sloppy opening half.
At half-time, despite having 11 more inside 50s, the Bulldogs trailed by eight points.
Adelaide then sealed victory with three unanswered goals in the third quarter, including Betts’ 30-metre boundary line set shot, with the Dogs a meagre 1.10 at three-quarter time.
Betts potted two more majors in a tame final quarter, leaving the Bulldogs with a 4-5 win-loss record this season ahead of a Friday night fixture against Collingwood.
The Crows face a testing month – Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney, Fremantle away and Hawthorn away.