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Port hangs on to beat Collingwood at Adelaide Oval

Matthew Agius  August 13, 2017 6:43 PM

AFL 2017 Round 21 - Port Adelaide v Collingwood

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 13: Robbie Gray and Travis Boak of the Power celebrate a goal during the 2017 AFL round 21 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Collingwood Magpies at the Adelaide Oval on August 13, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media)

A SOLID victory over Collingwood is just the tonic for Port Adelaide after a week of hard assessment following Round 20's loss to the league leaders.

It wasn't a clinical response, but rather one where the Power were able to withstand a first half grind and strong pressure from the Pies to run out comfortable 27-point winners in front of 37,000 at the Adelaide Oval. 

Bringing Collingwood's lossless month to a halt was no mean feat, though, with Collingwood pitching two strong challenges throughout the game.

The first Pie surge came in the opening quarter, with the Magpies grinding away at the Power and keeping the ball in their forward half for the majority of the quarter.

Unable to convert on the scoreboard, Collingwood instead watched as Paddy Ryder converted from a goal line grab and Sam Gray edged through the Power's second major with seconds left till the quarter time siren.

The second surge came as the visitors clawed back the Power's 34-point lead midway through the third term with goals to Reid (two), Hoskin-Elliott and Sidebottom getting them within eight points. 

The Power weathered Collingwood's onslaught and clung to a safe buffer for most of the fourth quarter, before a late goal to Boak sealed the deal with minutes to go.

Wines, Ebert and Hartlett toiled hard around the ground for the Power all day and were significant in Port building its lead and eking out its early advantage.

Robbie Gray was his classy self and Travis Boak offered up goals at pivotal moments - including the sealer - to steady the Power.

But it was the return of Chad Wingard that has Port's energy up. When he got near the footy - especially early in the first quarter - the Power looking capable of putting a score on the board.  

He had a mammoth 15 touches in the final term with the game still in dispute, highlighting his successful conversion from forward livewire to integral ball-winner.

Ladder battle heats up

The win keeps Port's top-four quest alive as it battles with the Swans to put enough wins on the board to lay claim to a double chance by season's end.

Winning remains crucial for the Power and its ladder neighbours heading into the final two rounds.

The Western Bulldogs - now percentage out of the top eight will be hunting a scalp when they host Port in Ballarat next Saturday afternoon.

Meantime wins to Melbourne and West Coast lock them on equal premiership points with Port and the Swans - Sydney having leaped over the pack with their percentage-boosting thrashing of Fremantle on Saturday. 

Port Adelaide travels to Ballarat next Saturday to face the Western Bulldogs at 1.45pm AEST.

SCOREBOARD

PORT ADELAIDE              2.4        7.8        10.11     14.14 (98)
COLLINGWOOD               1.3        4.4        8.8        10.11 (71)

Goals
R. Gray, S. Gray, Boak 2, Ryder, Houston, Wines, Neade, Ebert, Ah Chee, Dixon, Howard

Best
Wingard, Wines, R. Gray, Boak, Ebert, Hartlett, Houston

Injuries
nil

Crowd
37,533 at Adelaide Oval