Eagles run down Crows in tight AFL tussle

West Coast have overcome a 33-point deficit for a stunning AFL away win over the Crows in Adelaide.
West Coast have overcome a 33-point deficit for a stunning AFL away win over the Crows in Adelaide.

West Coast coach Adam Simpson is hailing his players' heart to rise from the canvas in a stirring 12-point AFL win against Adelaide.

The Eagles came from 33 points down in the third quarter to prevail 13.7 (85) to 10.13 (73) in Saturday's Adelaide Oval twilight game.

West Coast's stunning comeback featured 10 of the last dozen goals of the match to consolidate their top-four spot.

"There's evidence we have got pretty good resilience among our players over the course of the last 18 months," Simpson said.

"We have got a pretty mature group, that is the one benefit of going through a bit of a journey with our players."

The Crows were in complete command when Eddie Betts booted his second goal, giving his side a a 33-point break seven minutes into the third term.

Much of the Crows' lead was created in a dominant second term when they kicked five goals in a 14-minute burst, cashing in on a remarkable 15 consecutive inside 50s.

"That second quarter was a major concern," Simpson said.

"We need to look at that a lot because our best is as good as anyone and our worst is as bad as anyone.

"At halftime we adjusted a couple of things but our players just got a bit tougher.

"There's no doubt some of the things we did as a coaching group might have helped.

"But it (the comeback) was internal. It was the players themselves stepping up."

Simpson praised his trusty ball-winners - Dom Sheed (31 disposals), Andew Gaff (33 possessions), Elliot Yeo (28 disposals) and Luke Shuey (33 touches) were all influential in the precious road win.

And his attacking trio Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling and Patrick Cripps slotted three goals apiece.

Adelaide (five wins, five losses) plunge further into a clogged middle section of the ladder - they're seventh but could slide out of the top eight by round's end.

"The game was there to win," Crows coach Don Pyke said.

"Five minutes to go, it was dead level. And they were able to find a way and we weren't.

"We put a lot of energy and effort into the game and to walk away with a loss is disappointing, the players are feeling it.

"It was an opportunity, we were 30-odd points in front, and to lose at home is disappointing."

Adelaide midfielder Brad Crouch gathered a game-high 39 disposals and his fellow onballers Rory Sloane (32 possessions) and Cam Ellis-Yolmen (30 touches) were prominent while Wayne Milera (three goals) and Betts (two majors) were dangers in attack.

Australian Associated Press