Melbourne have kept their AFL Women's grand final hopes alive with an upset two-point victory over league heavyweights Adelaide at Darwin's TIO Stadium on Saturday night.
In extremely humid conditions, with temperatures hovering in the 30s, the Demons recovered from a scoreless opening quarter to prevail 5.4 (34) to 5.2 (32).
The game appeared over at the 11-minute mark of the final term when Aliesha Newman ran into the open goal to give Melbourne a game-high 14-point lead.
But after being held goalless for majority of the second half, Adelaide sprung into life with two quick goals at the death from Kellie Gibson and Sarah Perkins to ensure a frantic final minute.
Melbourne are now in third spot on the ladder, trailing the second-placed Crows on percentage with one round remaining in the home-and-away season.
The unbeaten Brisbane Lions have qualified and will host the premiership decider. The Demons face Fremantle next weekend at Casey Fields and the Crows play Collingwood at Olympic Park.
The result was soured somewhat for Melbourne with Emma Humphries injuring her left ankle in the third quarter and needing to be helped from the ground by trainers in considerable pain. She took no further part in the game.
Adelaide convincingly won the inside-50 count 35-21 but failed to translate that on the scoreboard as Melbourne smashed the Crows on the outside with 43 more uncontested touches (120-77).
Karen Paxman (21 touches) and Daisy Pearce (20) were fantastic for Melbourne and they were ably assisted by Lily Mithen (16), Elise O'Dea (16 and seven tackles) and Sarah Lampard (14).
Erin Phillips was Adelaide's best player with 20 possessions and one of the marks of the year in the opening term, climbing onto Melissa Hickey's shoulders and reining in a sensational grab.
Ebony Marinoff (13 tackles), Chelsea Randall (12 tackles) and Angela Foley also toiled hard for the Crows.
The ball hardly went into Melbourne's forward half prior to quarter-time but Adelaide failed to make the most of their inside-50 domination, which read 13-1 after one quarter, and they only took a 13-point lead into the first change.
The teams underwent a role reversal in the second period as Melbourne convincingly won the territory battle and cut the margin to six points at half-time with goals from Deanna Berry and Daisy Pearce either side of a Chelsea Randall major for the Crows.
It was Adelaide's turn to suffer a scoreless quarter after half-time as the Demons' momentum continued into the third quarter.
A beautiful Alyssa Mifsud snap under pressure from the pocket gave them the lead for the first time and a horrible turnover in defence from the Crows allowed Shelley Scott to extend Melbourne's advantage to seven points in the shadows of three-quarter time.