They were gallant in an absolute thriller at The G Saturday night, but the youngest side to make the finals fell to a hardened Adelaide who held on to clinch a 7 point victory. The Bulldogs seemed deeply effected by the sense of occasion – their first finals appearance in 5 years. With an average age of just 23, almost the entire side had never played an AFL final. And it showed – silly mistakes, costly turn-overs and 20 missed shots at goal, before a fever-pitch crowd of over 60,000 screaming maniacs (including us). Despite all their nervous decision-making, they ran and ran, crashed through packs & gave their all – consequently taking the lead by 8 points with just 10 minutes to go. We thought, hoping against hope, they had it. But the Crows had other ideas – bigger-bodied, finals-experienced, and just cool-headed enough to snatch victory. The final score – Bulldogs: 14.18 (102), Adelaide 16:13(109). If you can bare to watch it – here’s the gripping final quarter.

This coming weekend, The Crows play The Hawkes at The G in a Friday night sudden-death battle. And North Melbourne, who upset the Tigers yesterday, travel to play Sydney. The winners go to a Preliminary Final. The losers, season over.

Fires out.