PORT ADELAIDE held on to win a classic SANFL Statewide Super League Semi Final by four points against Glenelg on Sunday afternoon to book a ticket to this year’s grand final.
Port took a 16-point advantage into the final term, only to find themselves down at the 12-minute mark thanks to three goals in a row to the Tigers.
Todd Marshall put the Magpies back in front after some Billy Frampton brilliance, before Tobin Cox pushed the lead back into double digits.
A late goal to Luke Reynolds wasn’t enough for the Bays, as the Magpies won a thriller. Here are the talking points from the second semi final.
Port Adelaide’s defence steps up again:
Trent McKenzie was probably best-on-ground in Port’s four-point win, racking up a game-high 28 disposals, seven marks and 12 rebound 50s.
McKenzie was rarely beaten in the back half, using the ball very effectively, and repelling many of Glenelg’s forward 50 entries.
Jarrod Lienert (25 touches, seven marks), Joel Garner (15 disposals, five marks) and Magpies contracted player Tom Corcoran (12 touches, six marks) were also extremely important players in defence.
Aidyn Johnson’s forward presence was important:
Johnson was electric in Port’s forward line on Sunday afternoon, booting three goals from his 15 touches against the Tigers.
While it only showed one tackle in the record books, the livewire forward’s pressure was telling in the close game, creating chances for himself and his teammates with his speed and harassment of the opposition.
Strong-bodied mids lead the way in the centre:
In a tough and tight tussle with the Tigers where clean possession was a difficult task, Port’s midfielders stood up.
Skipper Cam Sutcliffe (14 tackles), Will Drew (11), Jack Trengove (10) and Joe Atley (nine) combined for a massive 44 tackles.
Sutcliffe also played a role on Glenelg gun Luke Partington after quarter time, curbing his influence on the contest.
Drew and Atley each had 22 possessions, while the skipper kicked a freakish goal late in the third quarter to wrestle some momentum back for the Magpies.