Reigning premier Adelaide has staged a dramatic late fightback to overcome a gallant St Kilda at Hisense Stadium on Sunday.

The Crows trailed for almost the entire game before clutch goals to debutant Caitlin Gould and second-gamer Madison Newman late in the final quarter turned the tide and delivered a 13-point victory.

The Saints were extremely close to breaking through for the expansion club's inaugural NAB AFLW victory with a much-improved performance on last weekend's first-up loss to the Western Bulldogs.

It was the Saints who struck first blood, speedster Kate McCarthy capitalising on a Crows turnover and unleashing a burst of pace to kick the only goal in a tight first quarter.

Played opened up after the break as the game developed into an entertaining end-to-end contest with four goals shared evenly among the sides in a gripping second term, with the Saints leading by seven points at half-time.

Caitlin Greiser (two goals) and former Crow Jess Sedunary added to the scoreboard damage to establish a handy buffer early in the piece.

Kate Shierlaw and Jess Sedunary celebrate after the latter puts through a goal against her old side. Photo: Corey Scicluna.

With the game in the balance late in the final quarter, Gould took a pack mark in the goalsquare to tie the scores before fellow newcomer Newman nailed a set shot on the run to the roars of the 6433-strong crowd.

Tarni White (18 disposals, 10 marks), Georgia Patrikios (18 disposals, four tackles) and Tilly Lucas-Rodd (19 disposals, six marks) were outstanding for the Saints.

The only injury concern for the Saints was defender Clara Fitzpatrick, who was stretchered off in the last quarter after courageously going back with the flight of the ball.

ADELAIDE     0.0     2.1     3.2     6.4     (40)
ST KILDA       1.1     3.2      4.2    4.3      (27) 

Adelaide: Considine, Biddell, Thompson, Gould, Newman, Jones
St Kilda: Greiser 2, McCarthy, Sedunary

Adelaide: Marinoff, Hatchard, Gum, Allan, J Foley, Rajcic
St Kilda: White, Patrikios, Lucas-Rodd, Exon, Vesely, Munn

Adelaide: Nil
St Kilda: Fitzpatrick (head knock) 

Adelaide: Nil
St Kilda: Nil 

Reports: Nil 

Crowd: 6433 at Hisense Stadium