Collingwood co-captain Steph Chiocci's late snapshot flew wide as the Magpies suffered their first loss of the AFLW season in a five-point defeat to Adelaide.
The Pies were searching for a fourth straight victory and gave the Crows a huge scare at Victoria Park on Sunday.
But the reigning premiers overcame some wayward kicking and a late surge from the home side to hang on for a 2.9 (21) to 2.4 (16) win.
Collingwood almost claimed a share of the spoils despite being outplayed for most of the day.
They lost the inside-50 count 36-15 but peppered the goals in the final few minutes.
Chloe Molloy kicked a point and Ruby Schleicher managed just one behind from her two set shots within range before Chiocci squandered a last-ditch opportunity that would have levelled the scores.
Chiocci's hurried right-foot kick around the body missed to the near side.
A relieved Adelaide survived, posting a third straight victory after their season-opening defeat to Melbourne.
"It got a bit tense," Crows coach Matthew Clarke told reporters.
"Certainly in the last 90 seconds we'd rather it had been down the other end, for sure.
"In the end we hang on and there was some really good footy from us but unfortunately we didn't take our chances, which hurt."
Collingwood had just one of the first 10 inside-50s of the game but held a narrow lead at quarter time, with Molloy snaring the only goal of the first term.
The Crows hit back in the second quarter, with goals to Ashleigh Woodland and Abbie Ballard giving them an 11-point advantage at the main break.
Mikala Cann's goal dragged the Magpies closer during the third term and Niamh Kelly kept Adelaide in front with a desperate lunge in the defensive goal square.
But the Irish defender dislocated her right shoulder in the process and played no further part in the game.
"She was really influential in that first half and the tackle that she laid to save the goal, when you see the final result, that's pretty significant," Clarke said.
Collingwood lost Aishling Sheridan to a knee injury during the second term.
Neither side managed a goal in the final quarter when wet conditions made scoring difficult.
"We had some opportunities in the last quarter and gave ourselves a chance but just fell short," Collingwood coach Steve Symonds said.
"They're the reigning premiers and they're a good team ... so we can be competitive against those better teams, which is something, but we just lack the polish."
History was made in the Crows' win when three female field umpires - Eleni Tee, Gabby Simmonds and Jordyn Pearson - officiated in the same AFLW fixture for the first time.