NAB Cup, Round 1: Young Power stars annihilate Crows (no, really)

By Damian Watson

Finally after those endless summer months, the NAB Cup has finally commenced.

I feel relieved as I grab the notepad and pen for the first time in 2010 awaiting the start of a new season — and a new decade — of this great Australian game. The first competitive hit out for my Blues is still seven days away so I decide to analyse the showdown between the teams across the border in South Australia.

To utter the fact that it has been a big summer of sports headlines in Adelaide is a clear understatement. Over the last few months, the AFL has announced a plan to develop the scenic Adelaide Oval into a large multi-purpose stadium which will host the majority of AFL matches in the City of Churches and the struggling Port Magpies have prevented a merger with its AFL tenant and continue to try and avoid extinction. Both are wins

I am understandably as giddy as a Jack Russell dog after my lowly cricket side unexpectedly rolled the opposition for 130 in the morning and with no homework for the weekend I can solely concentrate on the footy. I log onto the video streaming website (a godsend to those, like myself, who haven’t installed Foxtel) and prepare for the live action.

It is an error-riddled first quarter as both sides fumble and concede possesion regularly in the perfect conditions. The Crows with the aid of the breeze in the first term appear to be in top form in the early minutes with Chris Knights booting the clubs first major for 2010 from long range. Young star Patrick Dangerfield is prominent early, picking up five disposals in the space of two minutes indicating that he has had an effective Pre Season. The Power answer through midfielder Travis Boak, roving perfectly at the fall of the ball. Port then blow the opposition out of the water with consecutive goals to promising youngsters Daniel Stewart, Mitch Banner and Cameron Hitchcock. As the quarter wears on the Power midfielders continue to exert more physical pressure on the opposition as they force the footy towards goal. Meanwhile the Crows are content to switch the play as they try to initiate a foray forward, this eventually leads to majors from major disposal winners Bernie Vince and Richard Douglas to keep the Crows within 16 points at the first change.

Despite this early Power onslaught I still predict that the talented Crows line-up will manage to hit the front and remain there. It looks a possibility as Taylor Walker out-muscles his opponent in Carlisle to take a strong grab at full forward and covert. The new recruit from Richmond, key forward Jay Shultz has a nervous initiation to his career at the Power sending a wobbly spiral punt through the middle of the big sticks to answer the challenge. The Crows midfielders are beginning to find space and break through the Power barrier with two vital goals to Vince and Burton, the latter an absolute pearler from an acute angle. Young sensation Banner converts his second to provide much needed respite as the Power lead by 14 at the main break.

After eating some marvellous Ravioli for dinner I return to the laptop screen to witness a not so marvellous adjudication by the man in green. Star midfielder Chris Knights converts from point blank range after a ridiculous decision in which a free was deemed to be paid for a small shove, much to the disgust of Tony Shaw.

Seemingly rejuvenated following the blunder the Power went on a rampage opening up a 10 goal lead by the end of the quarter. Wade Thompson who impressed us with his dash 12 months ago is back to his mischievous best booting two sausage rolls within as many minutes. Hitchcock, proving to be a revelation takes a screamer at the top of the square before extending the margin to 27 points, only to injure his shoulder moments later. Logan scores before tall forward Justin Westhoff continues the avalanche with three quick goals with the aid of magnificent support from his teammates in the scrimmages. Port Adelaide are unexpectedly up by 57 points at the last change, yes I said Port Adelaide!

As the last quarter undergoes its course the Power are keen to maintain the high intensity as skipper Cassisi score his second super goal of the afternoon. Meanwhile defenders Carlisle and Chaplin continue to keep close check on their talented opponents Port’s margin blows out to 72 points at one stage before belated goals to veterans Goodwin and Burton whittle it back to 56 points by the final bell.

This is a positive omen for the Power with a dominant performance across the board following a horror 12 months. Crows fans shouldn’t be discouraged however with many focal players in their squad to return.

Footnote: For you footy trivia buffs, this match provided the first ever free kick to be awarded by a boundary umpire.

Adelaide 0.3.3  0.6.7  0.7.7  1.8.10  (67)
Port Adelaide 1.4.4  1.7.6  1.14.13  2.15.15  (123)

Nine-point goals: Goodwin.  Goals: Vince 2, Knights 2, Burton 2, Douglas, Walker
Port Adelaide: Nine-point goals: Cassisi 2.  Goals: Westhoff 3, Banner 2, Thompson 2, Hitchcock 2, Stewart 2, Boak, Ebert, Schulz, Logan

My Votes: 3.T. Boak    2. C.Hitchcock      1. P.Dangerfield

About Damian Watson

Hey,my name is Damian Watson and I am 14 years old. My ambition is to become an AFL broadcaster/journalist in the future. I am a keen blues supporter and I live in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I play and write for the Knox Falcons U/16's.


  1. Steve Healy says

    Well done Damo, how bad exactly is Hitchock’s injury?

    I was so wrong to predict Adelaide as nab cup premiers!

  2. Super report Damo, as you probably saw there was a 2nd boundary umpire free in the Hawks-Tigers match. Like most of the frees in that game it went to Hawthorn :( Doesn’t sound like the umpiring in this game was much better.

    I suspect this year there will be a lot of reports from us younguns and Daff and Harms will get sick of reading them all.

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