Finals Week 1 – Port Adelaide v Geelong: BITS Saints march out while Port win in Fantasiastic fashion

 

One exits and the other team marches on.

 

That was the theme of my weekend with ‘my teams’ Boyne Island-Tannum Sands Saints and the mighty Port Adelaide Power. In what has been a most demanding season for the Saints, to get to a preliminary final was a huge tick. Of course coach Rick Bean felt short changed after BITS lost to Glenmore Bulls yesterday at the Bulls home patch Stenlake Park in Rockhampton. Bean let it rip and the paint was surely stripped inside the visitor changerooms.

 

The Saints responded with goals to the dynamic Trent Millar, the brilliant Stevie Pugh and captain courageous in the big, bearded and burly Brendan ‘Brenno’ Clarke. However there was ‘the difference’ for the Bulls in the form of Joel ‘Oysters’ Kilpatrick. Oh, I made the ‘Oysters’ bit up!

 

While most of his team-mates sprayed the ball left, right and centre in Glenmore’s 12.22 score, the clever Kilpatrick booted five goals in a best-on-ground display. While it’s Mad Monday for the BITS players, the Bulls have a monumental task of stopping a seventh straight Yeppoon Swans premiership this Saturday.

 

No onto my other team’s quest in what will be an equally as demanding ambition as it will be for Glenmore. The Bulls are there, but Port Adelaide still has a couple of hurdles to try and overcome.

 

Port Adelaide Power has booked itself to a second consecutive home preliminary final after a stirring 12.14 (86) to 5.13 (43) qualifying final win against Geelong Cats at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

 

Port powered away at each break and the predicted leg-speed factor was for all to see as the Power’s small forwards Orazio Fantasia (four goals), Steven Motlop (two) and medical sub Sam Powell-Pepper (two final quarter goals) ran the Cats’ defence ragged.

 

The hosts broke the game open in the second quarter with a 4.4 to a 0.3 term and Port did not take its foot off the pedal. It was in essence a statement game and Port Adelaide still has more to give.

 

When the heat was on early, All-Australian centre-half-back Aliir Aliir was simply magnificent and it was as though Geelong picked him out time and time again. The midfielder tag-team of Travis Boak and Ollie Wines shared 65 possessions between them.

 

It was the sure-handedness by handballs that tore Geelong apart and this aspect stood out. Miles Bergman, in his first final, was superb for one so young while Zak Butters’ front-on tackle on Cat key forward Jeremy Cameron was one of inspiration.

 

Darcy Byrne-Jones played the perfect half-back’s game in his best one for the season in what has been an indifferent year for the 2020 All-Australian and Karl Amon kept to his stellar regular season form with 25 touches in a big final. Xavier Duursma would have put a smile to the previous wearer of the Port Adelaide number seven guernsey Brad Ebert’s face.

 

Duursma committed to a spoil only to wear the brunt of a charging Cameron – a sacrificial act Ebert has done repeatedly over the years. Power coach Ken Hinkley said the week off will have his team as best prepared as possible for what he hopes is a gateway to the grand final.

 

“It’s big in the overall goal because we get the perfect preparation for what we would like. We haven’t had the pre-finals bye, so this is a bye I feel like is a bonus and benefit to us, clearly,” he said.

 

“It’s probably what the old system looked like a little bit and now it works pretty favourably for us. We get to play at home again, we get to play after being a bit fresh. There’s some risks with that but it’s the perfect preparation in a tough, hard game of football and a bit of a rest.”

 

Port’s only concern was a knee injury to Fantasia late in the game, as he was replaced by Powell-Pepper.

 

“He gave it a knock and we weren’t going to take a chance. He was complaining that it was a bit sore and we were in a position where we certainly weren’t going to take that chance and we didn’t need to,” Hinkley said.

 

“He’s got two weeks so he’s got plenty of time to get over that I’d imagine, but we’ll see how he pulls up. It was a decision based around him being sore and we didn’t need to take any more risks.”

 

Forward Mitch Georgiades, who missed the qualifying final with a slight hamstring strain, is expected to be available for the prelim final.

 

“Mitch will be fine. He’s been an incredible part of our team all the way through the year and it (playing four tall forwards) will be a decision that we have to make around what’s right for us and the game and opposition that we play,” Hinkley said.

 

 

PORT ADELAIDE                          4.3     8.7       9.10     12.14 (86)

GEELONG                                      2.5     3.8       3.11    5.13 (43)

 

GOALS

Port Adelaide: Fantasia 4, Motlop 2, Powell-Pepper 2, Butters, Gray, Ladhams, Marshall

Geelong: Hawkins 2, Cameron, Selwood, Simpson

 

BEST

Port Adelaide: Boak, Aliir, Fantasia, Wines, Duursma, Byrne-Jones

Geelong: Duncan, Smith, Dangerfield, Henry, Parfitt 

 

INJURIES

Port Adelaide: Fantasia (knee), Gray (ankle)

Geelong: O’Connor (hamstring)

 

SUBSTITUTES

Port Adelaide: Powell-Pepper (replaced Fantasia in the fourth quarter)

Geelong: Higgins (replaced O’Connor in the second quarter)

 

 

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About Nicholas Kossatch

Tall and intelligent and athletically built who calls a spade a spade. Love sports writing and sending letters and texts to the editor about AFL and the Port Adelaide Power - win, lose or draw. I do not sit on the fence. Soon to be 40! I play basketball and over 35's supers football. Have played amateur footy and a bit of cricket and basketball when living in Adelaide. Do some writing for the Murray Pioneer,

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