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We are Port Adelaide

First of firsts: Port Adelaide v Richmond 1889

Members of Port Adelaide's 1889 team.
Members of Port Adelaide's 1889 team.
SUNDAY'S elimination final between Port Adelaide and Richmond will be the first time the two clubs have met in major round football.

Since joining the AFL competition in 1997, Port Adelaide - as the Power - has played Richmond 24 times, winning the majority 14 of them.

But it was way back in 1889 that the two clubs first met in very different guises at Richmond's home ground.

Port was captained by Bill Bushby, who would lead the 'Magentas' - as the club was known back then - to second place in the SA Football Association competition that year.

He would win the toss and kick against the breeze in front of a crowd of around 5,000 as the two sides of 20 players went head-to-head.

Richmond kicked the first goal through Brown in a quick passage of movement that caught Port off guard, before Ken McKenzie sealed the Magenta's response to chalk their first on the board.

The typical long-kicking nature of the game back then was in full display between two sides matched for physical strength and skill.

Port would kick consecutive goals through Charlie Fry, George Webb, Richard Correll and Alf Bushby to finish well in control of the game by the quarter time bell.

Richmond's response in the second quarter was swift as the black-and-goal stripes stormed out of the blocks to control the play early, but the blue-and-magenta's defence held strongly to prevent Richmond from scoring.

Goody Hamilton kicked Port Adelaide's sixth for the day in a valuable steadier for the visitors, before Richmond again worked the ball into their attack to put the pressure against their rivals, but to little avail, with only one goal kicked through Morton to reward the home side's effort.

Port went a man down after half time but still managed to stay in control of the match by chalking up another goal before a late surge from Richmond in the final quarter closed the margin back to within a goal at the close of play.

By today's standards, Richmond would have won the game, with plenty of misses and rushed behinds blowing their score out by the close of play.

They finished with seven goals and 15 behinds to Port's 8-goal-2, but the game in these early days of competition only counted goals towards the official scoreboard.

With that in mind, Port Adelaide was recorded the winner on the day in one of its first intercolonial football games.

SCOREBOARD
PORT ADELAIDE 5.0    6.2    7.2    8.2    (8 goals)
RICHMOND         1.2    3.9    4.14  7.15  (7 goals)

Goals

Port Adelaide: Fry 3, McKenzie, Webb, Correll, A. Bushby, Hamilton
Richmond: Searle 2, Brown, Stephens, Morton, Stewart, Barmer

Source: The Australiasian, 22 June 1889, The Advertiser, 17 June 1889
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs