The Sydney Swans have recover from a tough start to crush the Adelaide Crows and establish a three-game break at the top of the AFL ladder.

Swans forward Joel Amartey was the star of the show, kicking 9.1, in a brilliant personal performance to help Sydney to a 42-point victory.

The Crows began strongly, kicking four goals to two in a fierce atmosphere in front of their home fans at Adelaide Oval.

The Swans were constantly under pressure and weren’t able to take their chances, but it was Amartey who dragged them back in the game.

Joel Amartey kicked nine goals in three quarters to lead Sydney to a brilliant comeback win in Adelaide.  (Getty Images: AFL Photos/James Elsby)

Amartey kicked four goals from four kicks in the second term, and when he matched the feat in the third term, he had eight by three quarter-time, and the Swans had turned a 23-point deficit into a 21-point lead.

Sydney went on with it in the final term, off the back of dominance at centre clearances and overwhelming the Crows with 61 inside 50s to 35.

Amartey kicked one more in the final term as the Swans ran out winners by 42 points, to earn their 12th win (48 points) from 13 games. Carlton, who have a bye this round, are second with 36 points after the same number of games.

Swans coach John Longmire said he was merely protecting Amartey from potential injury when he benched the key forward in the dying minutes of the match.

Amartey laughed incredulously when he was taken off, with even his teammates on the bench surprised to see him leave the field.

“We want him available,” Longmire said, with one eye already on next round’s clash with GWS.

“Once we had the game won, it was important for the team that we looked after him and got him to next week.”

Earlier, Dustin Martin gave Richmond fans exactly what they came to see in his 300th game with the opening goal, but Hawthorn dominated the match at the MCG to take their seventh win of the season by 48 points.

The Western Bulldogs dominated Fremantle earlier on Saturday as Marcus Bontempelli kicked a goal of the year contender in a thumping 67-point win.

Look back at how the action unfolded in our live blog.

Key events

AFL Saturday scoreboard

Key Event

That’s where we’ll leave it

The result didn’t go the right way, but Dustin Martin’s stellar career was recognised after his landmark 300th game (AAP)

It’s been a big day of footy, with the Bulldogs’ ripping win over the Dockers in Melbourne, and ending with the Swans rising to the next level against the Crows.

But the highlight of the day remains Dustin Martin speaking with emotion about the love he’s been shown by the fans after playing his 300th AFL game against the Hawks.

The result may have not gone the right way, but at least the fans were treated to a bit of Dusty brilliance with that goal from 50 to lift the 92,000-plus people at the MCG.

Tomorrow we’ll be back with the conclusion of round 14, with North Melbourne facing Collingwood at Docklands, followed by GWS taking on Port Adelaide in Sydney.

Thank you for joining Chris De Silva and myself on the blog today, join us again tomorrow. Good night!

Where are the Crows at?

Early on tonight, it looked like the Adelaide Crows were on for a stunning upset.

They played brilliantly and outperformed the Swans, putting the league leaders under huge pressure and taking their chances with aplomb.

The second half fadeaway will be a disappointment, but they have to take into account the extent of the challenge.

There are certainly positives to take away for Matthew Nicks’ men, but the reality is that they still have four wins and a draw from 14 games.

In the weeks to come they face GWS, Brisbane, St Kilda, Essendon and Hawthorn.

Sydney 16.13 (109) def. Adelaide 10.7 (67)

Joel Amartey has kicked a career-high nine goals to lead Sydney to a 42-point come-from-behind AFL victory over Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.

The Crows led by 23 points late in the second quarter of Saturday night’s match, and they overcame Amartey’s first blitzkrieg to still lead by 16 points late in the third.

But Amartey’s heroics eventually proved too much to handle for the Crows as Sydney kicked the next 10 goals of the match to secure the 16.13 (109) to 10.7 (67) win.

The victory was Sydney’s ninth on the trot, and lifted them three wins clear on top of the ladder with a 12-1 record.

Amartey didn’t have a disposal to his name at quarter-time, but he kicked four goals in the second term and another four in the third to flip the match on its head.

He added another goal in the final term to finish with 9.1 from 10 disposals.

The 24-year-old’s haul was the most by a Sydney player since Lance Franklin kicked 10 against Carlton in round 23, 2017.

Amartey’s previous personal best was four goals, but his magical night against Adelaide boosted his season tally to 31 goals and has put him in the mix for the Coleman Medal.

Errol Gulden was also huge for Sydney with 35 disposals, 10 clearances, one goal and 766m gained, while Brodie Grundy racked up 31 possessions, nine clearances and 49 hit-outs.

Adelaide made the most of their chances in the opening term, kicking four goals to two to take an 11-point lead into the first change.

It marked the fourth consecutive match Sydney had trailed at quarter time, and the warning bells were ringing when a Brayden Cook volley put Adelaide ahead 45-22 with seven minutes remaining in the half.

When Sydney finally fixed up their flaws, Amartey cashed in with a three-goal burst in the final five minutes of the quarter.

Amartey entered the half-time break with 4.0 from four kicks, helping reduce the margin to four points.

The Crows kicked away again after the break, and with six minutes to go in the third quarter, Sydney were still yet to kick a goal for the term.

That all changed in the blink of the eye as the Swans slammed through six unanswered goals to finish the quarter, including four to Amartey.

Amartey took another strong mark midway through the final quarter to kick goal number nine with 10 minutes remaining, but goal number 10 just eluded him.


What’s next for the Swans?

Rd 15: GWS (Sydney Showground)

Rd 16: Fremantle (SCG)

Rd 17: St Kilda (Docklands)

Rd 18: North Melbourne (SCG)

Rd 19: Brisbane (Gabba)

Rd 20: Western Bulldogs (SCG)

The Swans are motoring after the bye, and with four of their next six matches in Sydney, things are looking up for John Longmire’s men.

Amazing Amartey does it for the Swans

Football’s a team game, but Joel Amartey was the star of Sydney’s win(Getty Images)

In the wake of Joel Amartey’s huge game, we have to remember that he didn’t have a single touch in the first quarter.

From there he put together back-to-back four-goal quarters, and ended up with 9.1 from 10 kicks.

Sydney’s distribution was top-tier, but the Swans forward was kicking them from set shots, snaps, on the run and more.

He’s not going to do that every week, but Sydney will be very happy he could pull that out against a fierce Crows defence that was giving them troubles for much of the match.

Swans good at comebacks

Do we have the data on how many times Sydney has made a come back from being behind significantly this season?

– Patrick

Not sure, Patrick. All I can tell you is that the Swans have trailed four times at half-time so far this season.

They’ve won all four.

Sydney’s surge hard to stop

That Swans performance sends a message.

The Crows played Sydney about as well as they could in the first half. But then they ran into a brick wall.

Sydney kicked 10 goals to three in the second half.

They had 61 inside 50s to 35, 51 clearances to 31, and 19 centre clearances to four. Overwhelming stuff.

The Swans are now three goals and a rake of percentage clear in top spot.

Are they peaking too early? Who knows, but right now the other 17  teams have a task ahead of them.

Key Event

FT: Sydney Swans beat Adelaide Crows by 42 points

The air has gone out of this one with Amartey off.

The crowd gives some cheers when the Crows get a holding the ball call.

Errol Gulden finishes the scoring with a kick that goes wide for a behind.

But the siren ends the proceedings, as a ruthless Swans outfit run out winners by 42 points.

Joel Amartey is finishing the game on the bench!

That’s amazing, the Swans have taken Joel Amartey from the ground.

There is just over a minute left, and he will be stranded on nine goals. Still a ridiculously good night, but that’s a bit of a surprise.

Crows get one back

The Crows are still cracking in to the end, and Ben Keays takes a mark close in.

He kicks Adelaide’s 10th, the lead is back to 41 points.

Grundy having a great night for Swans

In all the focus on Joel Amartey, let’s remind ourselves that Brodie Grundy is dominating in the ruck and around the ground.

He has 29 disposals, eight clearances and eight score involvements. Quite a night.

Logan McDonald kicks Sydney’s 16th goal of the night

The Swans hit Logan McDonald just on 50, with Joel Amartey deepest forward.

But McDonald kicks it clean, and that’s another major for the visitors.

The lead blows out to 46 points, the game is well and truly done with just under six minutes on the clock.

Joel Amartey has nine goals!

Sydney’s Joel Amartey is just having the game of his career.

The Swans are looking for him – a first kick across goal went over his head, but Sydney regathered and Papley chipped inboard for Amartey to take the ball at the second grab.

He kicks his ninth!

Sydney leads by 40 … and Amartey comes from the ground!

Tom Papley gets in on the act

This Sydney attack shows no sign of stopping.

Tom Papley got the ball from a stoppage inside 50, and he does what he quite often does, snapping a goal from 40.

Sydney leads by 34 points.

Sydney bring on their substitute

The Swans have brought off Hayden McLean, with sub Matt Roberts coming on.

Swans stat dominance

A few key stats that show how this game has turned.

The Swans have had 48 inside 50s to 29, 42 clearances to 26, and an incredible 16 centre clearances to four for the Crows.

What can the Crows do to rebound?

This scoreboard reflects an amazing rebound from the Swans, but it’s harsh on the Crows who have played so well for so much of the night.

The problem now is that if they don’t raise their game, this could turn into a real percentage drain.

The Swans are in the mood here, and they could well kick a few more with 15 minutes still on the clock.

Isaac Heeney stretches Sydney’s lead

The Swans are in full flow here.

They put pressure on the Crows and once they get it back, they go long inside 50 and Isaac Heeney marks near the point post.

He kicks his second, and that’s seven in a row for Sydney.

In the Adelaide box, Matthew Nicks rubs a hand over his face.

The Sydney surge keeps going. It’s 27 points.

Can Amartey kick 10?

Kicking four goals in a quarter is great for an AFL forward.

Doing it twice is fantastic. Doing it twice in the same game is … crazy.

Joel Amartey has eight for the game, the first time a Swan has done so since Lance Franklin in 2018.

The last time a Swan kicked 10 was Buddy as well, in round 23, 2017. Can Amartey finish off a career night in the City of Churches? We shall see.

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