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Footy Park Flashbacks #7: 1994 SANFL Grand Final

The 1994 Port Adelaide premiership team celebrates their famous come-from-behind win over the Eagles at Football Park (Source: The Advertiser)
The 1994 Port Adelaide premiership team celebrates their famous come-from-behind win over the Eagles at Football Park (Source: The Advertiser)
At number seven in our Footy Park Flashbacks fan poll is the famous 1994 SANFL Grand Final win where Port Adelaide defeated Woodville-West Torrens.

Woodville-West Torrens were the reigning premiers that year and they showed just how good they were in the lead up to the Grand Final.

Port Adelaide had won flags in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1992.

But the Eagles flew high in 1993 to take their first flag as a merged entity between the Woodville and West Torrens clubs and booked a place in the 1994 final with a 73-point demolition of Port.

It was a year of big margins - the Magpies smashing Central District in the preliminary final to set up a showdown with their earlier aggressors in the grand final.

And combined with the attendance of Ross Oakley and Alan Schwab at the game, it made for one massive match in the history of the Port Adelaide Football Club.

Things started badly.

The Magpies were bashed from pillar to post - outscored convincingly by the Eagles 2.4 to 6.2 and left staring down the barrel of another humiliating defeat.

In many ways the Magpies were lucky to be as close as 22 points at quarter time, the Eagles had dominated the quarter but frees deep into time-on to captain Tim Ginever and gun forward Scott Hodges gave the underdogs two late goals.

Improvement was sparse in the second quarter.

Both teams kicked 2.3 for the term to keep the margin just shy of four goals.

Port did itself no favours in the third quarter either - its carnal inaccuracy delivering 2.6 for the quarter while the Eagles could only manage one goal.

Wasting its chances to overtake the flag favourites, the Magpies trailed by two goals at the final change.

Then the trump card, Scott Hodges, sparked.

Having kicked just one goal to three-quarter-time, Hodges lifted in the final term to boot Port into the lead with five goals.

He kicked the first two for the term and then a young Andrew McLeod booted the third to put the Pies into the lead seven minutes into the term.

The Magpies were emphatic in the final quarter, with the trademark roar of the Alberton faithful willing Port Adelaide to the final siren.

A turnaround of 72 points after trailing by 35 early in the match delivered Port Adelaide one of its most popular and undoubtedly most important premierships in the SANFL.

They say Oakley and Schwab decided Port would become the second South Australian team, and only club outside of Victoria, to be granted entry to the AFL after that final.

No doubt the passion and frenzy that unfurled in that final quarter, and that characterises Port Adelaide to this day, helped make up their minds.

Tomorrow we reveal your number six in our Footy Park Flashbacks as well as the history of Port Adelaide and Carlton matches featuring the famous prison bar guernsey.

FINAL SCOREBOARD
PORT ADELAIDE                            2.4        4.7    6.13    15.16    (106)
WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS    6.2        8.5    9.7      10.9      (69)

Best: D. Wakelin, P. Northeast, S. Williams, S. Spalding, R. Delaney
Goals: S. Hodges 6, A. McLeod, S. Williams, T. Ginever 2, S. Pedler, T. Malakellis, D. Borlase

Captain: T. Ginever
Coach: J. Cahill

Crowd: 40,598 at Football Park
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs