Round 21 – Adelaide v Port Adelaide: Nothing is a given in the world of Aussie Rules!

 

 

 

 

It was almost the weekend of the underdog.

 

Depleted underdogs in the form of Greater Western Sydney Giants, Adelaide Crows and the Boyne Island-Tannum Sands Saints.

 

The first of this trio won against all odds against the Geelong Cats.

 

The latter two were in winning positions against Port Adelaide Power and Rockhampton Panthers.

 

Friday night’s result raised concerns and also hope as I prepared for another morning and early afternoon of guernsey changes and crossing and adding of player names to the BITS Saints’ team sheet.

 

“No reason why the Saints can’t knock off Rockhampton Panthers….look what GWS did at the Cattery,” I said to myself.

 

The Saints’ A-grade had the best part of a dozen or more regulars not available for the match against the Panthers.

 

The latter kicked away against BITS late in the game to enter Mad Monday in a happy state while for the BITS Saints, it’s elimination finals time at BITS Oval on Sunday, August 22.

 

There will be a host of players set to return from injury and shift-work commitments for that cut-throat final.

 

Earlier in the day I managed to station myself near the forward pocket at the start of the third term of the U15 BITS and Rocky Panthers game which was all but dominated by the Saints.

 

It was a magical moment and here’s why.

 

Here’s a snippet of the future talent Max Marsh booting his 100th goal in the AFL Capricornia U15 competition at the Rockhampton Cricket Ground:

 

Expect the unexpected and red hot favourites Adelaide were up for the fight winning the ball in the trenches at a dewy Adelaide Oval.

 

Port Adelaide Power withstood a stern and superb Crows challenge to edge out an Aliir Aliir-led four-point win 7.13 (55) to 7.9 (51) win.

 

Sydney Swans, who had lost to St Kilda, in another upset on this same evening, gave up Aliir to Port and he made sure the Swans lost in more ways than one.

 

Aliir dominated at centre half back with 10 marks, 21 possessions and the Showdown Medal.

 

He also took the final mark of the game as a surging Chayce Jones out of the Crows defence failed to hit up any of the free Crow players leading toward him.

 

Jones’, so defiant all night, kick only found Aliir.

 

Game over.

 

However, earlier in the evening, it was as if the gravity of the situation – and with a double-chance top four position almost guaranteed with a win against the ‘old enemy’, was too much as the Crows little ‘terrier pest’ Ned McHenry strolled into an open goal for his second goal in the second quarter.

 

Adelaide up by 20 points.

 

“…me dead, this is sickening…Crows are harder,” I said to myself.

 

But class started to come through.

 

The dancing feet of Connor Rozee, quick hands by Robbie Gray culminated to a bending goal by Sam Powell-Pepper in the frenetic final term that gave Port the lead.

 

Big Charlie Dixon, ‘Sam Taylored’ by emerging Adelaide key defender Jordon Butts, rose to make it his moment to mark and put the Power 10-points clear.

 

But the Crows’ never-say-die’ attitude produced a Tom Lynch snap to keep Adelaide in the game.

 

Port defended grimly against a side that was down two men – Brodie Smith and Will Hamill – both with concussion.

 

That defence also earned Port Adelaide a two-game buffer inside the top-four with two minor round games left.

 

Port coach Ken Hinkley said his side raised its contested possession will and want big time in the second half after Adelaide dominated that statistic in the first.

 

“We were struggling to find our best, Adelaide were making it a tough night for us,” Hinkley said.

 

“Showdowns are like that, we all know that.  We went plus-21 in the second half for contested possession, that’s how we won.We won just through sheer grit, we found a way to win, which in the scheme of our season is really important.”

 

The Power host Carlton at Adelaide Oval this Sunday at this stage.

 

 

ADELAIDE     1.3       4.6       6.8       7.9 (51)
PORT ADELAIDE      1.2       1.5       4.10     7.13 (55)

 

GOALS  

Adelaide: McHenry 2, Fogarty, Himmelberg, Keays, Mackay, Lynch
Port Adelaide: Butters 2, Dixon, Fantasia, Georgiades, Powell-Pepper, Wines

 

BEST  

Adelaide: Laird, Schoenberg, Butts, Seedsman, Jones, Keays
Port Adelaide: Aliir, Drew, Bonner, Rozee, Boak, Burton, Butters

 

INJURIES

Adelaide: Smith (concussion), Hamill (concussion)
Port Adelaide: Nil

 

SUBSTITUTES

Adelaide: Ben Davis (replaced Brodie Smith)
Port Adelaide: Todd Marshall (unused)

 

 

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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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