Adelaide are through to the AFLW grand final, but their 18-point preliminary final win over Melbourne has been soured by a head injury to Chelsea Randall.
The inspirational skipper is set to miss the season finale due to the league’s strict concussion protocols after she left the field in the first quarter of Saturday’s 5.3 (33) to 1.9 (15) win at Adelaide Oval.
Randall collided heavily with Melbourne’s Eliza McNamara, who also took no further part in the contest, after the pair showed great courage in chasing down a loose ball.
The Crows, premiers in 2017 and 2019, will host the grand final at Adelaide Oval after finishing the home-and-away season on top of the ladder.
Ebony Marinoff and Anne Hatchard were pivotal for Adelaide with 35 and 27 possessions respectively.
The Demons, inspired by Karen Paxman and Tyla Hanks, were left to rue missed opportunities.
The in-form visitors, who were shooting for their sixth win in a row, had the upper hand for long periods of the first half but could not take their chances.
Adelaide countered well, with Erin Phillips kicking a goal in the first and second terms to give her side a 10-point halftime lead.
A notable increase in intensity from the Crows after the break allowed Chloe Scheer and Hatchard to hit the scoreboard, the home side leading the goalless Demons by 21 points at three-quarter time.
Eloise Jones provided a highlight for the home crowd early in the final term with a brilliant tap and soccered goal.
Kate Hore booted one back to give Melbourne a glimmer of hope, but it was to be her side’s only goal in their last match of the season.