1997 AFL Grand Final


1997 AFL Grand Final

The 1997 AFL Grand Final was the 101st Grand Final in VFL/AFL history. It was contested between the Adelaide Crows and the St. Kilda Saints.

Lead-Up

Leading into the Finals Series, Adelaide had a win/loss record of 13/9. They had made the finals for only the second time in their club history, after losing in a Preliminary final in 1993. They finished the home and away season in 4th place on the ladder. St. Kilda had a win/loss record of 15/7, winning their last seven matches. They finshed the home and away season in 1st place on the ladder.

Adelaide won their Qualifying final encounter against West Coast at Football Park by 33 points, but still needed to play a Semi Final against Geelong which they won by 8 points, again at Football Park. They then progressed to the Preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs, a match in which they came from behind to snatch victory by two points. It was the greatest victory in the Crows' team history.

St. Kilda won their Qualifying final against the 8th placed Brisbane Lions by 46 points at Waverley Park before a sparse crowd, sending them to a home Preliminary final against 7th placed North Melbourne at the MCG, which they won by 31 points.

Match Summary

The 1997 Grand Final saw the Saints playing in their first Grand Final since 1971 and the Crows in their first since entering the competition in 1991.

It was an exciting Grand Final, and despite St.Kilda leading by 13 points at half time, Adelaide won by 5 goals, kicking 8 goals in the final quarter led by Darren Jarman. Andrew McLeod won his first Norm Smith Medal. Shane Ellen, typically a defensive player for the Crows, provided a cameo at full-forward with 5 goals.The first premiership ever for the Adelaide Crows and more heartbreak for the poor St. Kilda Saints, who still to this day have only one premiership (1966) since joining the AFL in 1897.

Teams

References

[http://stats.rleague.com/afl/stats/games/1997/ADSK19970927.html Match Stats]


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