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Round one gets off

Monday, 23rd March, 2020

Taylor Walker gets a kick in AFL’s opening round on Saturday - it’s uncertain when the competition will start again after being suspended by the AFL yesterday. PICTURE: Peter Argent Taylor Walker gets a kick in AFL’s opening round on Saturday - it’s uncertain when the competition will start again after being suspended by the AFL yesterday. PICTURE: Peter Argent

By Peter Argent

Twelve months ago Taylor Walker led the Crows onto South Australia’s premier sporting ground, Adelaide Oval in front of 50,180 passionate supporters in a round one clash against Hawthorn.

In unique, never before seen circumstances AFL football this year began its 2020 campaign - but the AFL has now decided to suspend the competition until at least May 31.

In round one of 2020 winter, a twilight match on Saturday (March 21) Walker, playing his 190th AFL game, was a member of the Adelaide XXII that played the Sydney Swans in twilight match, starting at the revised time of 4.35pm. 

In 2019, the venue was packed to the rafters, but conversely, this year the stadium was empty, except for team support and coaching staff, a few security guards and a small sprinkling of media personnel. 

The contest certainly lacked crowd affirmation, but proved to be an intriguing match as the scores were close in the end. 

The Crows started strongly with six straight goals in the opening term, including a pair by the North Broken Hill Football Club export, Walker, who was a strong presence in attack. 

Walker’s first goal was the Crows’ season opener just on nine minutes into the contest, and his second major was the Club’s third, 14 minutes, 45 seconds in. 

Sydney charged back into the contest kicking towards the River Torrens end of the ground with five goals to one in the second term, leading by eight points at the main break. 

Both teams were accurate all game, with Sydney taking a 14-point advantage into the final term. 

The Crows kicked the only two goals of the last quarter and had the chance to snatch the win in the final minute, but after a shot from Walker from outside the 50-metre arc from in front of the scoreboard, went wide of the goal post. 

Sydney collected the four premiership points, 11.8 (74) to 11.5 (71). 

At the Giants Stadium in Sydney, Isaac Cumming was a member of the GWS side, which defeated Geelong by 32 points in its opening game for the regular season. 

Cumming, looking to cement a place in the Giants’ side, as the club endeavours to take that final step towards premiership glory this season, was a solid performer, having eight disposals in defence. 

This AFL opening “lock out” round, reduced to 16 minute quarters, plus time on started at the famous MCG on Thursday night, March 19 and continued across the breadth of the weekend, with games played from the Gold Coast to Perth.

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