AFLW CARLTON CROWS ERIN
Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke has hailed the impact of defender-turned-forward Stevie-Lee Thompson after she booted four goals in a thrilling come-from-behind AFLW win over Carlton.
Thompson's bag and another Erin Phillips masterclass were instrumental as the Crows overcame a 17-point deficit in the third quarter to storm to a 9.3 (57) to 7.2 (44) win in front of 3,150 fans at Ikon Park on Sunday.
Phillips finished with 21 disposals and a goal, with Thompson booting two goals in the third quarter as Adelaide notched their first win of the season to condemn Carlton to an 0-2 start.
The Crows appear to have uncovered another star in Thompson, who dazzled with her pace and goal sense.
"Stevie-Lee played really well ... played a great game," Clarke said.
"She probably doesn't want to pump up her own tires but she's an amazingly hard worker, so to get some reward for that work is really pleasing.
"She has amazing speed and the ability to get to contests and create pressure."
Both sides lost key players before the opening bounce, Tayla Harris a late out for Carlton with a shoulder injury and Chelsea Randall out for Adelaide with hamstring tightness.
But the absence of those stars didn't affect the quality of an entertaining contest.
A week after they managed two goals in total in a heavy loss to North Melbourne, the Blues had two goals on the board by quarter-time.
But Phillips was on fire early, helping her side to a two-point lead at the first break.
Daniel Harford's side applied the brakes in the second, keeping the Crows scoreless and going ahead through a Natalie Plane goal to lead by four points at half-time.
Carlton leapt out to a 17-point lead with the first two goals of the second half, but Thompson kept her side in it.
Phillips converted a set free kick for a pivotal major late in the term and Sarah Perkins nailed her set shot in the shadows of three-quarter time to put her side up by a point and set up their final-term onslaught.
"We were much-improved from last week," Harford said.
"To progress to a point where we really challenged one of the best teams in the competition and lead like we did says that what we're doing is OK.
"It's just a matter of being able to sustain it for four quarters."
Madison Prespakis starred for the Blues with 20 touches and a goal, with Plane booting two majors.