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Shattering loss for Port in extra time epic

Matthew Agius  September 10, 2017 12:09 AM

"Devastated" Senior coach reflects on incredible, but heartbreaking, finish

 

  • Power defeated by two points in extra-time thriller
  • Magpies to fight for a place in the SANFL Grand Final at Adelaide Oval on Sunday at 3.10pm 

HEARTBREAK.

Port Adelaide is out of the 2017 AFL Finals Series after falling devastatingly short in an extra time epic at Adelaide Oval. 

The deciding moment came in the final seconds of the second period of extra time, when a free kick against Jared Polec for high tackle on Luke Shuey conceded a set shot to the Eagles.

Polec’s attempt was merely a desperate, full-blooded effort to contain the Eagle with the ball inside his defensive 50 – but Shuey made sure of the goal after the siren.

The agonising conclusion came despite Port’s supremacy over the game after the nine-minute mark of the second term.

It took the Eagles a full two quarters to convert their eighth-goal, having booted seven in a domineering start to the game.

Jack Darling was chief destroyer for the visitors early, with his three goals to half time putting Port on the back foot early.

Charlie Dixon kept the Power alive at the other end of the ground with three majors of his own.

Swinging the game their way midway through the second, Port kicked five consecutive goals to take the lead by the final change, but errant kicking cost them.

Despite dominating the third quarter with nine more inside-50s than the Eagles, they were unable to hit the scoreboard with significance - converting 1.3 for the term from 18 entries.

Such was the Power’s authoritarian command of possession, and superior defensive ability, the Eagles were unable to hit the scoreboard with meaning in the third term.

But their work inside defensive 50 was almost impeccable, mixing strong spoils with efficient exits to rebound time and again.

Veterans Priddis and Petrie kicked the Eagles back into the lead halfway through the final term, and two behinds to a desperate Travis Boak levelled the scores late and sent the game into extra time.

A heart-stopping thriller

Port looked good in the first half of extra time.

Sam Gray chalked up the Power’s first, after the Power seized control of the play running out of defence.

It was a remarkable turnaround, considering Hamish Hartlett had been taken from the field after behind levelled by Drew Petrie’s forearm in a contest just moments before.

Charlie Dixon missed a chance shortly after, but Ollie Wines slotted his second to put Port 13 points ahead.

But Josh Kennedy slotted two critical majors for the Eagles – one just before the siren to signal a change of ends, and one in the first minute of the second period – to bring the Eagles within two points.

As was characteristic of its night, Port could only find behinds, with Shuey sealing the game after the siren.

Not over yet

Port Adelaide remains alive in the SANFL Finals Series, with a second semi final against Woodville-West Torrens on Sunday to book a place in the state league grand final.

The Power’s loss means Jackson Trengove, Matthew Broadbent and Aaron Young will be removed from the line-up, having played the majority of their season at AFL level and now unable to play due to SANFL qualification rules.

The SANFL Second Semi Final gets underway at 3.10pm.

SCOREBOARD

PORT ADELAIDE              4.2        5.5        6.8        8.12 (60)              10.13    10.16 (76)
WEST COST EAGLES        1.0        7.4        7.5        9.6 (60)               10.6      12.6 (78)

Goals

Dixon 3, S. Gray, Wines 2, Ebert, Wingard, Powell-Pepper

Best

Dixon, R. Gray, Ebert, Wines, Clurey, Pittard, Westhoff, Howard

Injuries

TBC

Crowd

41,172 at Adelaide Oval