MAY the 4th was a happy Star Wars day as Port Adelaide’s star force Pete Ladhams, Billy Frampton and Jack Trengove dominated Central District to guide the Magpies to a 34-point win at Alberton Oval on Saturday.
Frampton and Tobin Cox each kicked four goals, while Ladhams tore apart the ruck battle with 40 hitouts, 28 disposals and two goals, helping his side to 52 clearances in the 18.11 (119) to 13.7 (85) win.
The Magpies locked the ball in its forward half for the opening five minutes of the first quarter and repeat inside 50s eventually paid off with the opening goal coming from a 20m snap from captain Cam Sutcliffe.
Matthew Broadbent’s run off half back and disposal moving forward was lethal as he found six disposals in the opening eight minutes, which set the tone for the Magpies to dominated the inside 50 numbers throughout the match (53 to 35).
Despite dominating the opening stages, Port’s early work was undone as the Bulldogs found two goals in two minutes through Nick Gillard and Justin Hoskin to take the lead at the 10-minute mark of the opening term.
The Magpies again got the ball flowing their way in latter stages of the opening term and kicked two late goals to Mitch Mead and Ladhams to go into quarter time with a two-point advantage.
After controlling the inside 50s and clearances in the opening quarter, Port once again dominated the opening five minutes of the second term, and this time put the damage on the scoreboard with Cox and Frampton converting from set shots in front of the Allan Scott Power Headquarters.
Centrals slowly raked back the lead with goals to Troy Menzel and Brendan Dew, before another major to Isaya McKenzie helped the Dogs take the scoreboard advantage.
The lead changed for the sixth time in the half when Trent McKenzie pulled the trigger on a trademark long bomb to goal from outside 50m at the 19-minute mark, before the game went goal for goal to conclude the second term.
Extending their lead out to 10 points at the major break, the Magpies dominated the disposal, hitout, clearance and inside 50 statistics at half time thanks to ruck and midfield dominance from Ladhams, Kane Farrell, Steven Motlop and Joe Atley.
The Bulldogs entered the second half with a renewed energy and kicked the first goal through Gillard, but the game continued to go goal for goal.
Frampton kicked back to back goals at the 14th and 18th minutes to break the sequence as the Magpies' lead grew to 15 points.
A Mead mark and goal at the 21-minute mark of the term extended the lead to a match high 21 points before Menzel and Jarrod Schiller reduced the lead back to nine points late in the third term.
Cox goaled in the final minutes before three quarter time to restore a 15-point advantage at the final break.
The final quarter got off to a dream start for Port with three goals in the first eight minutes, including Frampton’s fourth.
Ladhams continued his stellar run of form with a goal from the chalk of 50 to bring the Magpies faithful to their feet as the margin soared past six goals.
Cox’s fourth goal elevated the margin to a match-high 42 points to round out a satisfying day at Alberton.
Trengove again topped the ball winning statistics with 32 disposals, while Atley, Kai Pudney and Ladhams each cashed in with 28
Port Adelaide 3.4 8.7 13.8 18.11 (119)
Central District 3.2 7.3 11.5 13.7 (85)
BEST: Ladhams, Farrell, Garner, Motlop, Frampton, Trengove
GOAL KICKERS: Frampton 4, Cox 4, Woodcock 2, Ladhams 2, Mead 2, Motlop 1, Sutcliffe 1, Farrell 1, McKenzie 1.
DISPOSALS: Trengove 32, Atley 28, Pudney 28, Ladhams 28, Motlop 27