Hatchard leads Crows to AFLW record flag

Anna Harrington |

Adelaide have sealed the first AFLW dynasty with midfield superstar Anne Hatchard leading them to a 13-point win over Melbourne and a record third premiership.

In atoning for last season’s grand-final defeat with a 4.5 (29) to 2.4 (16) victory in front of 16,712 fans at Adelaide Oval, the Crows have now won three of the five grand finals, across six seasons, since the AFLW started, adding the 2022 flag to their 2017 and 2019 triumphs.

Two-time premiership coach Matthew Clarke hailed Adelaide’s continuity, as Hatchard, Ebony Marinoff, Erin Phillips, Chelsea Randall, Justine Mules and Stevie-Lee Thompson became triple-premiership players.

“To win today was massive obviously for this group but the reality of getting that third premiership in a pretty short space of time does set a little benchmark there and cements the legacy of those who’ve come before us,” Clarke said.

Four days after finishing second in the AFLW best and fairest, Hatchard was named best on ground in the decider, with 26 disposals, five clearances, six tackles and nine marks.

“It’s the best feeling. After last year’s heartbreak to be able to come back here, play our Crows footy and get the win, I’ve got no words. It’s just amazing,” Hatchard said.

“This (premiership medal) means a lot. It’s all the hard work that the team’s put together and to have a third one of these, it blows my mind.

“Starting out footy, I never thought that I’d be sitting here after six years with three medals. It’s just insane and it’s a credit to our group, we’ve just worked so hard together

“That (best on ground) was insane. To come out and snag that medal, I wouldn’t be getting that without the girls.”

Danielle Ponter (two goals) was prolific while skipper Randall and Chelsea Biddell double-teamed Tayla Harris to keep the star forward goalless.

It meant former Carlton and Brisbane forward Harris became the first player to lose an AFLW or VFL/AFL grand final with three separate clubs – and all against the Crows.

Marinoff and Phillips were also excellent, with Phillips becoming the second AFLW player after Darcy Vescio to reach the 50-goal mark with her second-quarter snap.

Melbourne’s Sinead Goldrick (20 disposals) was brave all day in defence while Karen Paxman, Gabrielle Colvin and Eliza McNamara were busy.

Adelaide dominated the first half but were wasteful and only led by 10 at half-time, before Ponter restored a 16-point lead early in the third term.

From there, Melbourne had a resurgence after putting Daisy Pearce behind the ball and peppered the goals in the second half without reward, before Ponter iced the game with a wonderful late finish.

“I’m so proud of our season and the steps forward we took this year and the fact that we gave it an absolute crack today,” Demons skipper Pearce said.

“We can walk off proud of our efforts but knowing we’ve just got to go away and get to work and get better.”

Pearce later said there were “no updates” on whether she planned to play on next season or retire, maintaining she planned to take time to assess her future.


Anne Hatchard, Adelaide – 14

Ebony Marinoff, Adelaide – 6

Danielle Ponter, Adelaide – 5

Sinead Goldrick, Melbourne – 2

Gabrielle Colvin, Melbourne – 1

Karen Paxman, Melbourne – 1

Chelsea Randall, Adelaide – 1

* Five judges, 3-2-1 voting