<
>

Crows beat Magpies in wet weather slog to claim prelim berth

Adelaide have overcome heavy storms, multiple delays and a gallant Collingwood to earn an AFLW preliminary final berth with a hard-fought 12-point triumph.

The reigning premiers impressed in the wet and wild conditions either side of a lengthy delay at the first break, but still had to hold off a brave Magpies fightback to secure a 3.5 (23) to 1.5 (11) victory.

The start of the AFLW semi-final was delayed by 30 minutes due to lightning within 10km of Unley Oval in Adelaide.

The opening term was played out during a break in the weather but the clash was put on hold for closer to an hour - and at risk of being postponed from a Saturday finish - after lightning returned before quarter-time.

The heavy storm during that break also left pools of water scattered around the field that ensured a dour contest through the remaining three terms but were not enough to slow the Crows.

Anne Hatchard (24 disposals, one goal) led the way for the Crows, while young gun Teah Charlton (15) also stepped up with star onballer Ebony Marinoff (11) unusually quiet until having more of an influence in the final term.

"It was clearly a really strange day but I thought in the first quarter we played some really strong footy into the wind," Crows coach Matthew Clarke said.

"The second half was just a grind for both teams, just to battle it out.

"But that was the most bizarre day of footy I've been involved in."

The Magpies worked their way into the match when kicking with a strong breeze and having 7-1 inside 50 in the third term but were unable to make the Crows pay on the scoreboard with 1.2.

Jaimee Lambert (23 disposals) battled hard throughout for the Pies, while Chloe Molloy (15, seven tackles) and (14, seven tackles) were also important.

Eliza James booted the Magpies' only major in the challenging conditions with a clever snap in the third term.

"It's our fourth season of finals now and we keep being thereabouts but we just can't get the job done at the end of the season," Magpies coach Stephen Symonds said.

"A number of players were under the pump and got themselves up for the game.

The way they fought it out, particularly in the second half, I'm extremely proud."

After the first bounce was delayed by 30 minutes it took the Crows just 17 seconds to slot the opening goal, after surging the ball forward for Eloise Jones to crumb it 20 metres out for a flying start.

The Crows were made to work harder for their second goal until Lisa Whiteley took a diving mark deep in the pocket and navigated a tricky breeze to kick truly.

The hosts led the Magpies by 11 points at the extended quarter-time break, stretching the margin to three goals at halftime after Hatchard skidded the ball through for the only major of the second term.

The Magpies fought hard in the second half but scoring dried up in the final term as the Crows were able to create enough stoppages to slow the game down.

Adelaide will next take on minor premiers Brisbane for a place in the Grand Final.