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Top three encounters against South Adelaide

Loukas Founten  June 1, 2018 2:33 PM

AHEAD of their meeting in Round 9 of the SANFL on Sunday, we thought we would look back on some of the more memorable matches involving Port Adelaide and South Adelaide. 

1965 Second Semi Final

PORT ADELAIDE        17.10 (112)
SOUTH ADELAIDE     16.11 (107) 

One of the most dramatic finishes between the sides came in the second semi final of the 1965 season with the game to decide which of the competition’s top two sides of that year would go through to the grand final. Port Adelaide had been minor premiers and had lost just three matches all season. South were second on the ladder with 15 wins from 20 games. South had won by 33 points when the sides had met in round 2, while Port had won by one point and 37 points when they played in rounds 9 and 16. South had gone from bottom in 1963 to premiers in 1964, beating Port in the final, in a remarkable resurgence under new coach Neil Kerley. They looked on track to play in a second consecutive grand final when, with less than 90 seconds to play when they took the lead by one point. South had fought back from being 17 points down at the last break and seemed to have all the momentum, but in front of more than 37,000 people at Adelaide Oval, and with just three seconds to play, Port’s Peter Mead was tackled without the ball and awarded a free kick about 50 metres out. He kicked the goal and was mobbed by supporters streaming onto the field. The win sent Port Adelaide to the grand final, where it beat Sturt to record the club’s last premiership at Adelaide Oval. After two premierships with Port Adelaide, mead went on to have a lengthy career as a field umpire and was inducted into the SA Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

1979 Grand Final

PORT ADELAIDE        9.9   (63)
SOUTH ADELAIDE     3.14 (32) 

After a 12-year premiership drought, Port Adelaide had defeated Glenelg to win the 1977 premiership but missed out after losing to eventual Premiers Norwood in the 1978 Preliminary Final.  In 1979, Port had finished second and South third, only separated by percentage with Central District clear on top. Earlier in the season the sides had won one game each against each other before the Magpies thrashed the Panthers by 49 points at Alberton in Round 19. The rematch in the qualifying final at Football Park saw another comfortable 38-point win to Port and South had to get to the grand final the long way, beating Norwood and Centrals to earn another shot at Port. The Magpies had enjoyed a week off after earning direct passage with a win over Central in the second semi final. On a wet and windy day in front of more than 50,000 people at Football Park, a remarkable game played out where all the goals came at the lake end. The Magpies piled on five goals in the first quarter and four in the third while all of South’s three goals came in the second term. Big forward Tim Evans booted four goals and was both too strong and too clean for his opponents in marking contests. Greg Phillips famously went third-man-up on boundary throw-ins in the last quarter to knock the ball out of bounds, limiting South’s opportunity to score with the breeze. It was Port Adelaide’s 20th Premiership and the first of three-in-a-row, while for South it was the last time the club played in a grand final.

1984 Adelaide Oval Round 10

SOUTH ADELAIDE    18.9  (117)
PORT ADELAIDE      17.13 (115) 

Port Adelaide and South Adelaide had played off in Round 1 of the 1984 season with the Magpies having a comfortable five-goal win at Alberton. It was a much different story in Round 10 when the sides met again at Adelaide Oval. The match was played on a Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of around 13,000 people and more who had tuned in on a rare live telecast on Channel 7. The Panthers had led at every change but by no more than seven points. Port had wrestled back the lead late in the final term and appeared to have done enough to hold on for a four-point victory when, in shades of the 1965 Grand Final a late opportunity arose to steal a win after the siren. With the seconds ticking away, South Adelaide’s Darren Harris intercepted an uncharacteristically inaccurate short pass from Port Adelaide captain/coach Russell Ebert and gave himself a chance to win the game from about 60 metres out. As he started his walk in for the set shot, the siren sounded and Harris paused and returned to his mark to start his run in again. He had already booted five goals for the game but none was more memorable than his sixth, a monster launch which just cleared a massive pack of players on the goal line to send the crowd into raptures. Port went on to win the minor premiership but narrowly lost the grand final while South, led by playing-coach Graham Cornes, was knocked out by eventual premier Norwood in an elimination final.

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