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Magpies battle to tight win

Steven Summerton
Steven Summerton had 10 clearances in the Magpies' win over North.
Port Adelaide's SANFL side has come away with a hard-fought 26-point win over North Adelaide at Prospect Oval on Saturday afternoon.

In what was arguably one of the most physical matches of its year, the Magpies were hit early by knee injuries to ruckman Brent Renouf and defender Campbell Heath in the first quarter, with the pair to be further assessed at the team's recovery session on Sunday morning.

The ruck duties fell to big man Angus Bruggemann and Mitch Harvey to pinch hit additional to his duties across half forward.

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The injuries halted the Magpies' run in the first half and stopped the visitors from gaining any real momentum.

In turn, North capitalised on the Magpies' injuries and showed class throughout the middle and with their ball use in the first half.

But true to its never-give-up attitude, Port Adelaide refused to let injuries break its stride.

Led in defence by workhorses Tom Logan and Cam O'Shea, who each recorded three rebounds inside the Roosters' attack by half time, the Magpies managed to break the shackles and resist a plucky Roosters side to hold a 19-point lead at the main break.

Ben Newton proved a force through the midfield and worked hard with Sam Gray to give the black and white forwards plenty of delivery.

John Butcher worked hard to dominate inside 50 and was instrumental in setting up the first-half lead with three goals.

The Magpies' third term buffer of 24 points could have been extended if it had not squandered opportunities inside 50 alongside the strong last-line defensive work of the home side.

Hocking happy with gritty win

Port Adelaide kicked just two goals and seven points in the third quarter, despite 10 more inside 50s than the Roosters.

The home side made use of its entries in attack in the third quarter and looked set to mount a late challenge, when it booted the first two goals of the final term and briefly swung the momentum in its favour with the margin reduced to 12 points.

But two quick goals to John Butcher to take his tally to five for the afternoon, plus a steadier from Tom Logan, gave the Magpies the breathing space it needed to nurse the clock to the final siren - Jake Neade kicking the sealer.

The Magpies remain on top of the ladder as a result of the win and will enjoy a week's rest with the League-wide bye in effect next weekend for the VFL v SANFL game in Port Melbourne.

Port Adelaide next plays Central District at Alberton Oval on Sunday 8 June at 2.10pm.

PORT ADELAIDE         2.4      6.7      8.14      12.17 (89)
NORTH ADELAIDE      1.3      3.6      5.8       9.9 (63)’s best
Summerton, Stewart, Newton, Logan, O'Shea, Summerton, Byrne-Jones

Butcher 5, Harvey 2, Gray, Young, Bruggemann, Logan, Neade

Heath (knee - assess) Renouf (knee - assess)
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs