Round 10 – Port Adelaide v Western Bulldogs: Torn Apart after 3 Quarters

So often the working class person feels a sense of incompleteness. I’m sure the many blokes out there who had good intentions of completing the DIY project in the backyard, or the older lady who wants to finally complete the jigsaw that they started many months before can relate. Luke Beveridge, his team of assistant coaches, 22 players wearing Bulldogs jumpers, the army of training and support staff and about 1000 fans, several of whom based outside of the South Australian capital, can also feel a little unfulfilled following Saturday Night’s efforts against a Port Adelaide side still playing catch up from a slow start to the year.

Being my first time in Adelaide since Football Park was no longer in use it was a relief in some ways not to have to huddle up and wait for the Footy Express. The city actually felt like it was hosting a footy match rather than being just a place for a few to chill for little reason. It was also the first time visiting the Adelaide Oval since the arena’s redevelopment was complete (my last visit had the member’s section complete for the 2012 test against India,) and it was hard to comprehend the improvement. It certainly made the wild goose chase of commuting from Brisbane to Gold Coast Airports worth it, even if Hungry Jacks at Gold Coast Airport game me twice as many fries and Cokes as I had ordered. Did find it hard to believe though that several bays of one long grandstand could be split into several stands, and from my vantage point it was near impossible to see 2 out of the 3 replay screens and impossible to look at the famous old scoreboard.

But boy the atmosphere was certainly held in the ground, any thoughts of trying to combat “Never Tear Us Apart” with another random request from Facebook users were scrapped. Every goal from the home team was met with rapturous cheering that many Victorian clubs on their semi neutral turf could only dream on amplifying against interstate opposition. Of course the boos and disapproval with the umpiring lingered from the Footy Park days, and to be honest they probably had a point on more than one occasion. It seemed the umpires just let too much go and missed a number of obvious decisions both ways despite letting the technical frees in the most part slide.

The game itself for three quarters was at an intensity that wouldn’t look out of place when the whips are cracking in September. Very little quarter was given or asked, key forwards found it hard to get a sniff (surprisingly there wasn’t a repeat of the “Million Dollar Sub” memes on the internet upon Tom Boyd being red vested for the second time in 3 weeks, I went to Macca’s pre-game this time anyway,) space was as easy to find as a bottle of Lucozade seemingly is in the supermarkets and it took slight lapses in concentration for the scoreboard to tick over. Instead of being a rocking “Portress” the Alberton faithful seemed tense not knowing which way the game would fall despite their team holding a slight edge on the scoreboard for most of the first trio of terms.

It all broke open after another tight opening 5 minutes of the last. It was a comparatively soft uncontested mark and goal for Jay Schulz that was the catalyst. From there it was a case of run and stun, hit the scoreboard as hard as the pill and carry on stifling the visitors’ attacks to coast to the line with a comfortable win. They may not be as revered or as deadly as the real three W’s, but Wines, Wingard and Westhoff for this night were the football equivalent of Weekes, Worrell and Walcott. Despite some early disposal jitters Westhoff was superior in the air, Wines through the middle made his disposals count all night and Wingard proved to be the prime finisher late in match as the tide turned.

For the Bulldogs, undoubtedly the disappointment of conceding a game they had visions of winning at the last change will hurt into the bye weekend. Yet being on an even win-loss ledger after the first 10 games would have been something that just a handful of fans would have envisaged prior to the season (and many of whom thought it should have been better after dropping 2 very winnable matches.) Despite the pressure placed on them for most of the night, the young key defensive players did a handy job in making life difficult for their opponents, Easton Wood’s intercept marking a highlight. The road after the bye may well determine if a sniff of September action is still an outside possibility, with the next handful of opponents already thinking about future seasons. As for Port, being a game and percentage out of the 8 means that next Friday Night for them is a real 8 pointer, so after the hard slog of this week perhaps a light week is in order. They’ll need it against Geelong even if they have home field advantage.

 

 

MATCH DETAILS

PORT ADELAIDE 16.4.100
WESTERN BULLDOGS 9.8.62

SCORERS
PORT: Wingard 3.2, Schulz 2.0, White 2.0, Hartlett 1.1, Westhoff 1.1, Boak 1.0, Ebert 1.0, R.Gray 1.0, S.Gray 1.0, Monfries 1.0, Stewart 1.0, Wines 1.0 DOGS: Stringer 2.1, Roughead 2.0, Dale 1.1, Crameri 1.0, Dickson 1.0, Hrovat 1.0, Stevens 1.0, M.Boyd 0.1, Dahlhaus 0.1, Grant 0.1, RUSHED 0.3

BEST
PORT: Wines, Westhoff, Wingard, Monfries, Lobbe, S.Gray
DOGS: Stevens, Wood, Wallis, Macrae, Hamling, Grant

VOTES
3: Ollie WINES (PORT)
2: Justin WESTHOFF (PORT)1: Chad WINGARD (PORT)

OFFICIALS
FIELD: Matthew NICHOLLS, Brendan HOSKING, Sam HAY [EM: Toby MEDLIN]
BOUNDARY: Matthew KONETSCHKA, Jonathan CREASEY, Mark THOMSON, Chris BULL
GOAL: Brett ROGERS, Tim AXON

CROWD: 41813 at Adelaide Oval

About Mick Jeffrey

32 Year Old, Bulldogs Member and tragic. Reserve Grade coach after over 225 combined senior/reserves appearances for Brothers AFC in AFL Capricornia. 11 time Marathon finisher, one time Ultra Marathon finisher and Comrades Marathon competitor 2017.

Comments

  1. Neil Anderson says

    I’ll never complain about my 200 k trip home again after a loss. You should be recognized by the Club for all the travel you do to attend games.
    That roar of the home crowd was, as you say, something the Bulldogs could only dream of.
    It was a case of Wines, Wingard and Westoff in the finish that made the difference in the end. The Bulldogs quite often come up against a team where players suddenly come back into form or have star players returning from injury.
    You’re right about that empty unfulfilled feeling after this loss. Even on the win/loss ledger but could have 2-3 more wins with a bit of luck.

Leave a Comment

*