Adelaide defender Alex Keath shows why he could be an All-Australian in Crows’ Showdown win
Josh Gabelich – Fox Sports
Daniel Talia, Rory Laird and Brodie Smith have all earned All-Australian selection before, but Adelaide may have another defender who will be fitted for a blazer by the end of the season after Alex Keath starred in the Crows’ hard fought Showdown win.
Adelaide looked home at three-quarter time, but they were made to earn the win late after Port Adelaide kicked five goals in a row in the fourth quarter, reducing the margin from 44 points to just two kicks.
But it was only a scare.
The Crows steadied late to win Showdown 46 by 20 points to jump into the top four after winning its fourth consecutive game to put a 1-3 start further behind them.
Don Pyke has the one of the best defensive units in the AFL right now and it is a 27-year-old in only his 20th game who continued to emerge as one of the best intercepting backmen in the competition.
With Tom Doedee doing his knee on the opening weekend of the season and Jake Lever long gone, the former Melbourne Stars and Adelaide Strikers all-rounder has shown why Gold Coast listed him as a 17-year-old and why so many clubs were into him for the duration of his cricket career.
Keath won the Showdown Medal after collecting a career-high 26 disposals, 14 contested possessions, six spoils and five marks to put more runs on the board early in the year.
“The success story in all of this is Alex Keath,” Melbourne great Garry Lyon said on Fox Footy.
“Alex Keath is to Adelaide what Tom Stewart is to Geelong.
“Geelong get Stewart for nothing and he ends up being an All-Australian and Alex Keath has come here via the ACB and he is on track for All-Australian.”
While Rory Laird (31 disposals) and Brad Crouch (30 disposals) found plenty of the ball as per usual, star forward Tom Lynch was one of the best players on Adelaide Oval, booting three goals from 20 disposals.
Port Adelaide entered the must-watch blockbuster without co-captains Ollie Wines and Tom Jonas, as well as four-time All-Australian Robbie Gray, full forward Charlie Dixon and vice-captain Hamish Hartlett.
They were always going to be up against it with so much quality missing, and that ended up being the case.
Nothing went right for Adelaide last year after they made it all the way to the 2017 Grand Final. But the Crows appear to have rediscovered their mojo and could be capable of surprising in the second half of this season.