Port Adelaide Power have put a slow start to the AFL season behind them by winning their third game in a row against fierce rivals Adelaide Crows in the 38th Showdown meeting, with the game ending Power 18.7.115 to Crows 13.13.91.
Brad Ebert was exceptional for the Power all match, collecting 31 disposals as he used his damaging kicking skills to good effect, while star forward Jay Schulz was in fine form booting five goals for the victorious side.
For Adelaide, Patrick Dangerfield amassed a game-high 36 possessions and Eddie Betts kicked a highly credible five majors in a losing team.
The match started in typical fashion with this hit on Betts drawing a 50 metre penalty that he duly slotted to give Adelaide the momentum early.
However, after the first 10 minutes Port Adelaide began to settle and when Jay Schulz kicked truly (see below) the Power had scored three in a row and were running rampant.
Matters got worse for the Crows when this goal from Power’s skipper Travis Boak saw his troops take a deserved 16-point lead at quarter time.
The Crows needed a response in the second term. Although they had the majority of the play in their forward half for the entire quarter, they agonisingly couldn’t make their opponents pay on the scoreboard. Two goals and five behinds capped off a quarter where they deserved more reward for effort.
Another fine Schulz set shot (see below) and blistering counter-attacking move finished off from Power star Chad Wingard (see below) showed just how clinical Port Adelaide are, as they took a handy 17-point buffer into the main break.
After half-time the Crows’ disposal efficiency improved considerably as they began to make serious inroads on the scoreboard. This mercurial effort from Betts set the tone for a determined Crows.
When Josh Jenkins’ long bomb (see below) cut the margin back to just five points with plenty of time remaining in the quarter it looked like the tide had turned.
However, a couple of quick and crucial goals from Port Adelaide – this one from Hamish Hartlett – saw them retain an important 13-point advantage at the final change.
Some last quarter magic from Crows midfielder Scott Thompson (see below) got Adelaide back within only eight points early in the final term.
That was as close as Adelaide would get, as Paddy Ryder took this strong grab and scored a major to keep a desperate Crows at bay.
Thompson was at it again with this incredible effort from deep in the pocket to give Adelaide a glimmer of hope.
However, no one could deny Port Adelaide, as Justin Westoff improvised (see below) to effectively seal the game and claim the Showdown bragging rights.
Next week Port Adelaide will look to continue their recent run of form with a home clash against West Coast Eagles on Sunday evening, while for Adelaide Crows they face a tricky test away to Gold Coast Suns on Saturday night.