A BRAVE Port Adelaide withstood a huge final-quarter challenge by Glenelg to win its clash on Saturday by 55-points.
The win was built on a strong second quarter at Glenelg Oval as Port held the Bays to just one goal while booting seven of its own to take a 35-point lead into the main break.
But as expected in such a heated contest between two bitter rivals and a battle between sixth and seventh, the second half was played out like a mini final, and both sides were desperate to keep their slim finals hopes alive.
Glenelg refused to give in and, led in attack by Terry Milera and Clint Alleway and Ruory Kirkby, who were playing their final game for the home side, the Magpies’ lead was cut to just 19 points with 10 minutes played in the final term.
Port was equally as desperate and refused to capitulate.
Skipper Steve Summerton was instrumental for the entire match, especially in the final term and, together with Kane Mitchell and Sam Colquhoun, inspired the visitors to victory.
Jimmy Toumpas’ third major started an onslaught of goals from the Magpies whose midfield brigade could not be stoped.
The defensive pressure Riley Bonner and Paul Stewart imposed on Glenelg’s forwards was strong and Summerton, Tom Gray and Luke Reynolds capitalised for the Magpies in attack.
Summerton, 33 disposals, four clearances, two goals, and Mitchell (31 disposals, five clearances and a goal) were prolific in the midfield for the Magpies., while Luke Reynolds finished with five goals.
Youngster Riley Bonner was impressive down back, finishing with 21 disposals and six defensive rebounds.
Port Adelaide’s win combined with Central District’s loss to Woodville West-Torrens on Saturday puts the Magpies just one game behind the Dogs, which sit fifth.
A win against Norwood in its final match of the minor round next week and a loss to the Dogs in their last match would give Port an SANFL finals berth.
Port Adelaide plays Norwood on Sunday August 21 at 2.10pm.
The rivalry between Port Adelaide and Glenelg has always been high, but the contest at Glenelg Oval was hot from the first bounce.
It was a battle between sixth and seventh and both sides were clinging to a slim hope of playing in September and a loss would have stamped that glimmer out completely.
Both side’s hunger to clinch the win shone almost instantly in a pressure-high first term. Jay Schulz got Port off to a good start booting the first goal, but it was quickly followed by a goal to Glenelg’s Ziggy Vitkunas.
Big tackles were laid from both sides and it wasn’t long before tempers flared and a scuffle started with Schulz and Kane Mitchell and a few Bays players.
Players from both sides streamed in and punches were thrown before a 25m penalty was awarded to Glenelg’s Ruory Kirkby who made no mistake with the kick.
A second major to Kirkby put the home side 11 points up, but Matt White and Steve Summerton pegged goals back to level the score.
Clint Alleway goaled to put the Bays back in front, but a late goal to Jimmy Toumpas narrowed the deficit to just four points at the first break.
Once again, it was Jay Schulz who got Port off to the perfect start, taking a strong mark inside the first two minutes to drill home his second major for the day.
Carl Nicholson hit back for the Bays, but it would be Glenelg’s only goal for the quarter as Port piled on the pressure and began using the ball with much more precision down the field. Goals to Cam Hewett and Dan Houston put the Magpies 23 points ahead.
Hard work from Summerton at the stoppages combined with Sam Colquhoun’s quick outside run, allowed Luke Reynolds and Jimmy Toumpas to get on the end of their second goals and help Port to a 35-point lead at the main break.
The skipper led the way and had recorded five clearances by half time, while Riley Bonner also impressed, collecting 13 disposals, four inside 50s and five defensive rebounds.
Glenelg came out firing after half time, desperate to make amends for their second quarter fadeout after being outscored seven goals to one. Their pressure increased, but Port managed to absorb it early and goals to Toumpas and Reynolds helped extend the lead.
But Glenelg still refused to give in and halted the Magpies’ quick ball movement, slowing down the tempo of the game.
The Tigers mounted a comeback and were inspired by Kirkby and Terry Milera.
Milera booted three consecutive goals to cut Port’s margin to 23 points.
Port had its chances, but missed crucial opportunities in front of the big sticks late in the final term.
Kane Mitchell booted a crucial settler with 25 minutes gone to give Port a 31-point advantage.
The Magpies didn’t get off to the start they would’ve liked, as Glenelg drew first blood in the final term with goals to Josh Scott and Alleway.
Port was able to settle and get back to a 25-point lead through a goal to Jimmy Toumpas – his third – and it was thanks to forward-line pressure by Tom Gray and Brendon Ah Chee.
Tom Gray continued to own the quarter and his second major for the day gave Port a bit more breathing space, putting the visitors 30 points up with 17 minutes gone.
But, in came Terry Milera who booted three consecutive goals really quickly and, suddenly, the momentum had swung and the home side was only 19-points down.
Steve Summerton had been playing with heart and sole the entire match and once again his work around the stoppages inspired the black and white to heap on the pressure and pile on goals. Port booted five unanswered goals and managed to claim a big 55-point win.
Port Adelaide 4.2 11.7 14.12 20.14 (134) defeat
Glenelg 4.6 5.8 9.11 11.13 (79)
Goals: Reynolds 5, Toumpas 3, Schulz, T Gray 2, Summerton 2, White, Hewett, Houston, Sharrad, Mitchell, R Young
Portadelaidefc.com.au’s Best: Summerton, Colquhoun, Mitchell, Bonner, Ah Chee, T Gray Injuries: Matt White (TBC)