Crows clip Magpies to snatch top AFLW spot

Chloe Scheer of the Crows handpasses the ball in front of Ruby Schleicher of the Magpies. Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Adelaide are perfectly positioned to make a run at a third AFLW premiership after the Crows swooped from the clouds to claim the minor premiership with a 14-point win over Collingwood.

Adelaide, premiers in 2017 and 2019, earned a week off and will host a preliminary final, and the grand final should they progress that far, on the back of Sunday's 4.7 (31) to 2.5 (17) win at Norwood Oval.

The Crows were third heading into the clash against the ladder-leading Magpies, but snatched top spot with a display of fierce tackling and high-pressure football.

Coach Matthew Clarke hailed the finals-like intensity that his players brought to the contest.

"To end up where we have is a great bonus," Clarke said. "Obviously things fell our way (with other results) but sometimes you need a bit of luck.

"The way it shook out we approached this like a final because there was so much at stake. Clearly Collingwood were the same so the intensity across the whole game was right up there.

"That's just the sort of preparation that we needed (for finals)."

Collingwood dropped to third with the result and face a sudden-death final against North Melbourne.

"They realise they made some mistakes early on today, but they're ready to go again," Magpies coach Steve Symonds said. "Our group is pretty resilient and they play with a lot of spirit.

"They just want to go out and redeem themselves now."

Skipper Chelsea Randall was superb for the Crows with Anne Hatchard, Erin Phillips and Ebony Marinoff all prominent in the impressive team performance.

Brianna Davey and Britt Bonnici were typically busy in the middle for the Magpies but the visitors struggled to combat Adelaide's stifling pressure game.

The hosts' intent to harass the Pies was evident from the outset, forcing turnovers and going inside the attacking 50 on 11 occasions to Collingwood's three in the first quarter.

Justine Mules got the Crows off to a flyer with the opening goal and Ash Woodland converted a superb snap in traffic.

Jaimee Lambert clawed one back from close range, but Collingwood trailed by seven points at the first break.

Hatchard kicked the only goal of the second quarter as Adelaide tightened the defensive screws, the Crows leading by 15 points at halftime.

Collingwood were a player down in the second half after Sophie Casey was concussed in a collision with Stevie-Lee Thompson.

The Magpies couldn't find an avenue to goal in the third term, Adelaide extending their lead to 20 points at three-quarter time after Teah Charlton fought off three defenders to scramble through a goal.

Chloe Molloy goaled inside the first minute of the final term to give Collingwood hope but the Crows didn't allow another goal to clinch a well-earned win.