Scott was wrong, but Choco’s still gone

“Allan Scott, you were wrong!”

Those were the words that were scratched into Port Adelaide history by Mark Williams, now former coach of the Port Power after his 2004 victory over the Brisbane Lions in the Grand Final. Allan Scott, head of the main sponsor of Port Adelaide, believed ‘Choco’ would never win a flag. He definitely was wrong.

The previous day I had been back at the doctors for another appointment. They finally diagnosed me with pneumonia, and gave me quite a long list of medication to take. They also signed me up for a blood test, so Mum and I turned around to go back into the waiting room, although we were called in straight away, funny how that doesn’t happen when you’re not getting a needle.

Choco coached for the 259th time, and the last, against Collingwood on a Friday night at AAMI Stadium. The Power boys were up for the occasion, with Brett Ebert marking from a Ben Reid mis-kick. He goaled from 50m out with the aide of the very strong, gusty wind. Daniel Stewart goaled in the goalsquare after Reid dropped an easy mark, and I started to fear for Danni Eid’s life. Collingwood continued to make mistakes, with Ebert kicking his second from a good transition. He then booted his third with a great goal from tight in the forward pocket, before David Rodan dribbled through a goal at a stoppage to give Port a surprise 32 point lead at quarter time, 5.3 to 0.1.

I started to barrack for Port Adelaide, I wanted Choco to go out on a high. The Collingwood juggernaut got on a roll though, with Dale Thomas kicking the Pies’ first, but Ebert quickly put through his fourth, then Mitch Banner snapped his first to give the Power a 36 point lead. Dane Swan dribbled through a goal, then Alan Didak’s high snap floated through with the aide of the wind. Jack Anthony did something useful, grabbing the ball on the boundary line before handballing to a running Travis Cloke who kicked the goal, and Didak kicked his second after a Chris Dawes mark followed by a handball over the top to the Croatian. Dayne Beams marked, played on and goaled on the run to cut the margin to just six points, and Tarkyn Lockyer saw scores level with a good mark and goal, 7.5 apiece at the main break.

Port came out still with some of the bottled emotion they were playing on, or it was Ben Cousins’ meds. Josh Carr was actually on the receiving end of a 50m penalty for once, and he finished it off with a goal, but Jarryd Blair showed why he was wearing a Collingwood jumper by dummying around a Port player on the 50m line before goaling from 45m out on the run to draw scores level again. Dawes gave Collingwood the lead for the first time, snatching the ball and kicking his first, before Rodan kicked his second from the forward pocket and then booted a ripper from 50m out, and he got the Power faithful excited, maybe even he got Choco excited. That excitement was snuffed out when Leigh Brown gave Collingwood a slender lead with a good mark and goal, 10.8 to 10.7 at the last change.

The fairytale story saw Port getting up late in the last quarter with an emotional Choco rallying the crowd on the final siren. Sadly, that didn’t happen. Blair kicked his second, then Darren Jolly took a good mark and kicked his first. Dawes goaled from a tight angle, but Daniel Motlop kicked his first to cut the margin to just 13 points. Collingwood killed the contest with Dawes booting his third, Thomas receiving a handball to snap his second in the goalsquare and Brown goaling on the run to take the margin out to 32 points. Motlop marked, played-on and goaled off one step from 55m out, the only highlight of his night, as Collingwood won, 16.9.105 to 12.7.79.

Choco made his way into the rooms before the players did, out to an awaiting car and fled AAMI Stadium. A great coaching career came to a close. Will it open again?

Port Adelaide 5.3—7.5—10.7—12.7.79

Collingwood 0.1—7.5—10.8—16.9.105

Goalkickers:

Port Adelaide-Ebert 4, Rodan 3, Motlop 2, Carr, Banner, D. Stewart

Collingwood-Dawes 3, Thomas 2, Didak 2, Brown 2, Blair 2, Cloke, Swan, Beams, Lockyer, Jolly

Best:

Port Adelaide-Rodan, Brogan, Ebert, Banner, Logan

Collingwood-Swan, Beams, Jolly, Pendlebury, Didak, Blair

Crowd:

24,260 at AAMI Stadium

Votes:

3: Dane Swan (C)

2: David Rodan (PA)

1: Dean Brogan (PA)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.

Comments

  1. John Butler says:

    Take it easy there Josh.

    Get well soon.

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