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High-pressure West consign Magpies to second loss for 2014

Ben Newton playing for Port Adelaide in the SANFL. Picture: John Bradshaw
Ben Newton was one of Port Adelaide's few four-quarter performers
A skillful West Adelaide caused one of the boil overs of the 2014 season, defeating Port Adelaide by 17 points at Richmond Oval on Sunday afternoon.

Despite leading by 20 points at quarter time, Port Adelaide surrendered its lead over the next three quarters against a disciplined and defensive Bloods side.

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The stiff northerly breeze strengthened throughout the day and gave the Bloods plenty of opportunity to launch long from the top of the 50-metre arc to make life difficult for the Magpies at critical points.

Port fell behind in the second quarter but rallied to level the scores at three-quarter time.

But the Bloods were too strong, too accurate and too strong in the contest for the erroneous Magpies - which squandered several inside 50 entries to handicap its chances of claiming a comeback win.

Things could have been different had the Magpies kept its solid first quarter going where Zac Hawkins set up fellow contracted Magpie Robbie Young for the first goal of the game before West answered through Stevens.

The Magpies kicked the remaining four goals of the term to hold steady at the first change, but the Bloods were battling hard and probably deserved to be closer at quarter time, moving the ball quickly around the packs but not taking advantage of their forward moves.

However, they took full advantage in the second term, kicking five goals to edge ahead at the main break.

Mitch Harvey kicked the first for the Magpies in the second half, but from then the quarter was dominated by the Bloods, who continued to move the ball with clinical efficiency all over the ground.

While both teams kicked four for the quarter, the Magpies were kicking with the breeze and would have wanted a better return.

In fact, the Bloods kicked the first three goals of the quarter against the breeze to establish a 22-point advantage by the 11th minute.

Academy rallies to win over Bloods

But two goals to Shaw and then to Neade, who marked in the forward lines after forward pressure saw a West Adelaide attempt to switch play go wrong, got the Magpies back within striking distance.

However, it still left the Bloods with the advantage of the conditions in the last quarter, and they kicked five goals to two to control the game to the final siren.

Aaron Fielke with four goals and Ryan Dijksman with three kept the Magpies backmen under pressure all day and made great use of their opportunities.

After the game, senior coach Garry Hocking lamented the performance shown by his group.  

"We’ll learn from this, ours is a very proud group," Hocking said.

"It wasn’t the Magpies of old and it wasn’t the Magpies of 2014 either."

"I said before the game, it’s not about personnel, it’s about attitude, and we didn’t bring the right one today."

PORT ADELAIDE      5.1      6.4      10.8      12.9      (81)
WEST ADELAIDE      1.5      6.8      10.8      15.8      (98)’s best
Newton, Neade, Shaw, O'Shea, R. Young

Shaw 3, R. Young 2, J. Butcher, D. Butcher, Haren, Harvey, Neade, Newton, Haren

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs