1998 AFL Premiership
Adelaide’s drive to a second consecutive AFL premiership was a challenging route, more so than the 1997 success story.
The Crows finished fifth on the ladder thanks to a final round victory over West Coast. Had they lost, and other results gone against the Club, finals would have been missed all together.
The first week of finals pitted Adelaide against Melbourne at the MCG and the Demons were comfortable 48-point winners. As all three sides below the Crows on the ladder also lost in the qualifying finals, under the McIntyre Finals system Adelaide survived, and was rewarded with a trip to third-placed Sydney.
Playing away did not hurt the Crows and a hard-fought win put the Club one game away from a second grand final, with the Western Bulldogs the roadblock. The Bulldogs had defeated Adelaide by 67 points during the regular season but this time it was one-way traffic for the Crows in a 68-point win, with thanks to seven goals from Andrew McLeod and six to Matthew Robran.
North Melbourne entered the grand final as hot favourites and led by 24 points at half-time, however their wayward kicking meant the game was far from over.
Behind another Norm Smith Medal worthy performance from Andrew McLeod, Adelaide hit top gear in the second half to lead by two points heading into the final term.
Adelaide held the Kangaroos goalless in the fourth and with six goals of their own, surged to a 35-point win – and a second premiership – in front of 94, 431 spectators.
Defenders Peter Caven and Ben Hart starred against a talented forward line boasting Wayne Carey, Mark Bickley and Kane Johnson won plenty of the ball, while Darren Jarman’s five goals proved to be the difference.
B: Mark Bickley, Ben Hart, Kane Johnson
HB: Nigel Smart, Peter Caven, Shane Ellen
C: Peter Vardy, Simon Goodwin, James Thiessen
HF: Andrew McLeod, Matthew Robran, Brett James
F: Mark Ricciuto, David Pittman, Tyson Edwards
R: Shaun Rehn, Darren Jarman, Kym Koster
Int: Matthew Connell, Mark Stevens, Ben Marsh, Andrew Eccles
Coach: Malcolm Blight
Adelaide 3.2 4.3 9.11 15.15 (105)
North Melbourne 4.4 6.15 8.15 8.22 (70)
Best: McLeod, Hart, Jarman, Johnson, Rehn, Caven, Bickley
Goals: Jarman 5, Smart 3, Vardy 2, James, Pittman, Johnson, Thiessen, Ricciuto