Ball magnet Tom Mitchell has inspired Hawthorn to an upset 14-point victory against AFL ladder-leaders Adelaide.
Mitchell collected 38 disposals and kicked a clutch goal as the Hawks won 14.12 (96) to 12.10 (82) on Thursday night at Adelaide Oval.
Emerging star Ryan Burton, Shaun Burgoyne, Paul Puopolo, ex-Crow Rickey Henderson and Tim O’Brien kicked two goals each for the unfancied Hawks.
Adelaide (nine wins, four losses) blew a chance to consolidate at the top of the table – they led in the last quarter but couldn’t close the deal.
Instead, Hawthorn’s Puopolo, Adelaide discard Henderson and the influential Burgoyne kicked the last goals of the game for a stirring win for the visitors.
Henderson (30 disposals) was prominent in Hawthorn’s fifth win, with ball-winner Mitchell’s midfield colleagues Burgoyne (26 disposals) and Liam Shiels (21 touches) also busy.
They helped to stifle a Crows side overly reliant on brothers Matt and Brad Crouch, who had 64 disposals between them.
Rory Atkins (28 possessions), link-man Tom Lynch and Rory Laird (28 disposals) battled gamely while Josh Jenkins kicked three goals.
But the Crows were on the back foot from the start – Hawk stalwarts Burgoyne and Jarryd Roughead goaled inside four minutes.
Adelaide, before a 45,312-strong home crowd, settled and drew level by quarter-time, 4.2 apiece.
The Crows’ vaunted attack found fluency in the second stanza, with keys Taylor Walker and Jenkins kicking two majors each.
Their scoring helped Adelaide craft an 18-point halftime advantage, and the ladder leaders appeared in control.
But the plucky Hawks rallied after the break, booting three consecutive goals – the last two were on-the-run efforts by Burton, giving the visitors a two-point lead.
Adelaide’s Hugh Greenwood, a former NBL player turning in his best AFL game, replied as the Crows went five points ahead at three-quarter time.
But new Hawk Henderson, against his former club, and the influential Mitchell goaled before Andy Otten struck back for the Crows.
After a tense scrap of behinds, Hawthorn veteran Puopolo converted for a seven-point break before Henderson and Burgoyne struck the sealers.