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Magpies edge Bulldogs

Tom Logan (pictured against Sturt) was among Port Adelaide's best
Port Adelaide was made to work hard for a 13-point win by a determined Central District at Alberton Oval on Sunday afternoon.

In perfect conditions for football, Port looked likely for enjoying a day in the sunshine when it kicked away to a six-goal lead at quarter time.

But the Bulldogs, ninth on the ladder at the start of the round, refused to heel, and stayed in the contest right up to the final siren.

It took a cool headed Ben Haren to slot through a kick from the bowling club flank to seal the game for the Magpies in the dying minutes.

The first half was an entertaining affair - although the Magpies ran out to a significant quarter time lead, the Bulldogs worked to reduce the margin at the long break to 31 points.

The Magpies were dominant early, with Robbie Young kicking the game’s first two goals.
 
Port regularly moved forward in the first period but gave away a number of free kicks in the goal square, squandering scoring opportunities.

But they slammed on five goals in seven minutes in the latter half of the term, the most memorable from a dashing Daniel Flynn run, who took two bounces as he burst across the outer wing before finding Nathan Krakouer at half forward.

Centrals hit the ground running from the opening bounce of the second quarter and kicked the first three goals, including two to Retzlaff who finished the day with five.

However, the Magpies worked their way back into the contest, kicking three of the last four to maintain their advantage.

The third quarter was an even, dogged contest, with both teams adding three goals to their tally.

Then Central upped their workrate, kicking the first four goals in the lengthening shadows of the final term and looking a genuine chance to snatch a win from the ailing black and whites.

However, Haren’s last quarter mark and goal ensured that the two points stayed at Alberton and keep the Magpies atop the ladder.

Senior coach Garry Hocking said that the late finishing Bulldogs brought some concern to the coaching box, particularly given the Magpies' own poor performances at centre bounces in the final term.

“I knew that we had plans still in place,” Hocking told portadelaidefc.com.au.

“The centre bounces gave us a little bit of grief – we were done 1-7 in the last quarter - and we were beaten in tackles.

“Centrals did a really good job running out the game. But that settling goal to Haren and the behind just prior meant that they had to score twice.

“We’ll take a lot of stuff out of the last three quarters.”

The Magpies will front up again next Sunday from 2.10 against Woodville-West Torrens.

SCOREBOARD
PORT ADELAIDE          7.1      10.3      13.5    14.7 (91)
CENTRAL DISTRICT     1.0      5.2       8.3      12.6 (78)

portadeladiefc.com.au's best

Logan, O'Shea, Krakouer, Summerton, Biemans

Goals
Krakouer, Harvey, Neade, Young 2, D Butcher, Haren, J Butcher, O’Shea, Shaw, Biemans.

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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs