AFL 2024 round four LIVE updates: Demons charge to top of ladder after back-to-back wins in Adelaide

Demons bat deep

Clayton Oliver has seldom endured a less productive first half than his six-disposal tally at 16 per cent against Adelaide.

But despite Oliver’s rare downer – the gun midfielder was seemingly still hampered by a finger injury – Melbourne led by 17 points at half-time while getting on top in the clinches after an indifferent opening.

Oliver finished with a modest 16 touches, but the Dees had other contributors pop up.

South Aussie Tom Sparrow’s cameo was admirable, while the usual engine room drivers Max Gawn, Christian Petracca and Jack Viney ensured a prosperous, flawless six-day stay in Adelaide for the Dees and top spot on the ladder.

Melbourne’s Tom Sparrow in a ferocious battle for the ball.

Melbourne’s Tom Sparrow in a ferocious battle for the ball.Credit: Getty Images

Kozzy in strife

Kysaiah Pickett faces scrutiny from the MRO after collecting Crow Jake Soligo high in a botched second-quarter smother.

The electrifying but at-times undisciplined Demon left the ground to smother Soligo’s attempted handball – but then it went awry.

Pickett tucked his arm in on the follow-through and collected the young Crow’s head with his shoulder.

Soligo completed the game and was among Adelaide’s best, but Pickett nonetheless faces a third suspension in the space of barely 12 months.

He copped two games for taking Western Bulldogs superstar Bailey Smith high in last year’s opening round then received two weeks for a high hit on Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps in the finals.

Go-slow Crows

Adelaide thrilled the full-voiced, bumper crowd of 48,020 with a furious late rally, holding the Demons goalless after three-quarter-time.

But the rearguard came far too late and with too much damage already inflicted by two horrid middle two terms which have consigned them to a 0-4 start.

More than half of the Demons’ final score came from Adelaide turnovers, the home side’s slow, predictable ball movement feasted on by Melbourne’s expert interceptors behind the ball.

After missing last year’s finals by a whisker, all while playing an attractive, high-voltage brand of football, the Crows couldn’t be further off that pace to launch 2024.

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