Local Sport

Crows Beat Dees In Darwin

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Adelaide coach Don Pyke has praised the performances of recalled players Josh Jenkins and Bryce Gibbs in the team's thrilling win in Darwin after being 31 points down.

Jenkins kicked 2.3 including a crucial goal in the last quarter.

However, it was his first match after falling out of favour with Pyke and spending six weeks in the SANFL.

The former No.1 draft pick Gibbs has been dropped twice this season amid reported criticism over his defensive game and running.

However, Pyke said he was "happy with how they both played" in the 14.6 (90) to 12.16 (88) against Melbourne in front of a crowd of 10,634 at TIO Stadium in Darwin.

Gibbs played a tagging role on Clayton Oliver in the second half, who had 23 out of his 34 possessions before half-time.

"We felt like like Oliver was doing fair bit of damage in the first half," Pyke told reporters.

"Gibber went on to him and was able to really nullify his influence, which is great.

"Some of the things we've been talking to Bryce about, for him to do that is a real feather in his cap."

Jenkins had taken his chances and worked hard and competed hard ahead of the ball, he said.

"I thought they had an impact on the game at some crucial times and did some really good things, it is a good sign for us."

Adelaide hit the front for the first time in time-on in the last quarter. Sam Weideman had a chance to win it for Melbourne with 30 seconds left but missed a set shot from about 50 metres out directly in front.

The Crows avoided a third narrow loss in a row to get its sixth win out of 11 matches, turning the tables after giving up a 33-point lead to lose last week against West Coast.

The Demons have slumped to 3-8 record in what has been a woeful year after making a preliminary final in 2018.

They had appeared set to repeat last year's thrashing of the Crows in Alice Springs and were scoring freely as they had last year.

Melbourne players under pressure over their form, such as Nathan Jones and Jack Viney, played well and along with fellow midfielders Clayton Oliver and James Harmes dominated clearances and inside 50s in the first half.

Demons coach Simon Goodwin said the club was bitterly disappointed but said it was the team's inaccuracy rather than any drop in will or effort in the second.

Melbourne produced a wasteful 1.8 (14) in the final quarter and 3.12 (15) in the second half.

Image: Dan Peled/AAP