PORT ADELAIDE has held on for a nail-biting win over rivals Adelaide in an Under 23 Showdown at Thebarton Oval.

In front of a small but vocal crowd, Port withstood a late charge to win by just six points.

The young Power brigade dominated territory in the opening stages but failed to put it on the scoreboard, landing four behinds before the Crows bagged the first major through young Lachlan Gollant.

It may have been a February trial game but there was no lack of feeling in the contest with plenty of push and shove at the resulting centre bounce.

Fortune favoured Todd Marshall when Boyd Woodcock’s kick off the ground landed in his arms directly in front of goal and the big man casually slotted his side’s first goal from 25 metres out.

Wylie Buzza was impressive in his first competitive hit-out for the club, providing a presence up forward and in the ruck, deputising for the late withdrawal Peter Ladhams, but he too was inaccurate as both sides were wasteful in front of goal.

Buzza made amends within 90 seconds of the restart, marking on the lead after some brilliant build up work by Kane Farrell and Dylan Williams.

The former Geelong big man nailed the set shot from 25 metres out directly in front.

It was the start of a four-goal run by the Power with Cam Sutcliffe snapping around the body, Marshall nailing his second major after marking on the lead from a centre clearance and Tobin Cox playing on after marking in the goal square.

A set shot goal by Darcy Fogarty with four minutes remaining gave the Crows their second, but two late goals from Port saw the visiting side head to half time with a 34-point lead.

Power supporters would have loved what they saw with both of those goals. The first came after Dylan Williams flew high for a mark and Trent Burgoyne read it off the pack to snap a classy goal. The second came after Burgoyne found space in a pack to hand off for Williams to snap truly.

The Crows came out after the break with a point to prove and managed a five goals to two quarter to bring the margin back to 17-points at the final change.

Elliot Himmelberg’s dribbled goal from the boundary was the pick of the goals while for Port, Williams nailed his second goal after being taken high 45 metres out on a tight angle, while Jake Patmore marked his return to the field after having a knee reconstruction last year with a cheeky goal, having robbed his opponent on the goal line.

Fogarty’s second major after the three-quarter time siren set the match up for an interesting conclusion.

The sides traded behinds to start the final stanza before Adelaide started to get on top, closing to within a goal with majors to Crocker and Fogarty.

Kane Farrell, who spent much of the game patrolling a wing, pounced on a loose ball and slammed home from 45 metres out to steady his side’s nerves.

Crocker’s third with five minutes to play brought the nerves back.

However, the Power youngsters showed remarkable composure controlling the tempo under significant pressure to withstand the Crows late charge and hold on for an encouraging win.

SCOREBOARD

PORT ADELAIDE

1.6

7.10

9.12

10.15

75

ADELAIDE

1.4

2.6

7.7

10.9

69

 

Goals

PORT ADELAIDE: Marshall, Williams 2, Buzza, Sutcliffe, Cox, Burgoyne, Patmore, Farrell

ADELAIDE: Fogarty, Crocker 3, Frampton, Himmelberg, Gollant, Matthews