The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 17 – Port Adelaide v Melbourne: A heartbreaking 89-point win

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Port Adelaide versus Melbourne

4.10pm, Saturday, July 29

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide



FOOTBALL PARK IS NOT A HANDSOME STADIUM. It’s Adelaide’s answer to Waverley Park, a Hungry Jacks drive-through stadium in the suburbs without adequate public transport and lacking the Moreton Bay figs and the city backdrop of Adelaide Oval.


Football Park only shines when you’re sitting in the outer facing west for a twilight game in the depth of winter. By halftime, the back sky is filled with?a radiant yellow setting winter sun. Only then, you have the rare impression that god is peeking through the clouds, at the best time of the day, watching the sport of man. God is so old now, and so bored with everything repeating itself, that he sleeps most of the time and only wakes for his better sunsets.


Port were a shoo-in for this game. They pencil-whipped the undermanned Eagles by 15 goals in their last appearance here, then won by nine goals against the Richmond Kittens at the MCG. Melbourne came to town with a 15-goal deficit against their last two opponents, Brisbane and the Kangaroos.


I had a $420/$30 bet with the bookies on Port winning by 101+ and felt confident. At the 30-minute mark of the fourth quarter, when Port kicked their 25th goal, I jumped out of my seat for different reasons than the Port fans but, like them, I yelled “Yeeeesss!”


That 25th goal put Port 101 points in front. “More, more,” I chanted with the rest of that mad Port mob. With 10 goals in that last quarter, there was enough time for more. Two more goals were scored in the dying seconds – by Melbourne. Port won by 89 points. I slunk out of that triumphant stadium as if I had lost my shirt in the last at Morphettville.


Sorry, dear reader, to begin the report of this game from the wrong end but it won’t take long to join the dots.


Port exploded out of the blocks with three fast goals in the first three minutes. With no Tredrea, and a dominant midfield through Shaun Burgoyne, Kane Cornes, Dom Cassisi and David Rodan all firing, and Nathan Lonie on the wing, and a backline repelling anything Melbourne could throw at it, coach Williams sent Chad Cornes to the full forward line.


Chad is the most valuable player in the competition. He began as a strong high-marking forward, fast to recover and dangerous as a crumber. I argued often that Tredrea should become an interchangeable CHB/CHF in the Glen Jacovich mode but Williams instead switched Cornes to defence and built up a new structure around Tredrea. Then, losing Carr and Francou, Williams put Cornes into the midfield, where he also excelled.


In this game, Williams sent him forward and Chad ate every ball as if he had only two hours in the chocolate factory – 17 kicks; 11 marks; 3 tackles; 6 goals and 2 points. He was best on ground, yet again.


Chad is $1.80 the place in Brownlow betting. A wager on him to win, at 4/1, is only a bet that Gary Ablett will get reported. It’s also a bet, too, I suppose, that Chad won’t get reported.


Recently, Williams has made another major switch – Peter Burgoyne from centre to a half back flank, as Neil Craig uses Andrew McLeod. Peter has relished this move and has been the architect of Port’s midseason resurgence. With 36 disposals on Sunday, he and Jacob Surjan on the other flank were, at the same time, Port’s defensive wall and their springboard into attack.


Everything is coming together for this impressive Port unit. Their kids, like Westhoff and Boak, are intelligent; their maturing players like Ebert, Lonie and Pearce are enjoying their football and their older workhorses like Lade, Brogan, Wilson and Cassisi are staying in touch.


Daniel Motlop is uncoachable. He has his own understanding of how the ball bounces and his own set of rules about how to play. The only decision left for the coach is to put him on the ground or on the bench.


Shaun Burgoyne kicked four goals in this match close to goal, around his body. He’s usually good for a couple on the long run from 40-50 metres. Shaun’s cool ability to walk into the hot spot reminds me exactly of D. Jarman and Adelaide’s two Grand Finals.


If Port gets to the sunset, there is not much that can’t happen.


And I apologise to Melbourne supporters for not mentioning any of their players in this report. Like a few modern marriages, in this match one of the combatants simply wasn’t there.



Port Adelaide  8.3 11.6 19.10 25.13 (163)

Melbourne  2.3 6.6 7.7 11.8 (74)



Port Adelaide: C. Cornes, Ebert 6, S. Burgoyne 4, Rodan 3, Motlop 2, Chaplin, K. Cornes, Lade, Westhoff.

Melbourne: Bate, Green, Newton, Robertson 2, Bruce, Holland, Neitz.



Port Adelaide: C. Cornes, P. Burgoyne, Ebert, K. Cornes, Cassisi, Thurstans, Lonie, Lade, Surjan.

Melbourne: Green, MacDonald, Moloney, Brown.



Burgoyne (Port Adelaide) 200 games.



Kennedy, Sully, Fila.



Cornes (PA) 3, P. Burgoyne (PA) 2, Ebert (PA) 1.



Cornes (PA) 3, S. Burgoyne* (PA) 2, Wilson* (PA) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

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