Eight year drought broken as Ports upset Esperance in miserable affair
Ports 6.9-45 defeated Esperance 4.7-31
It was the win that diehard Ports Footy Club people were hanging out for, after almost two years of losses. Some senior players had never beaten the red and white team from across the railway and on Saturday, playing in cold and miserable conditions, the Ports league side held their nerve to beat the Bulldogs by 14 points.
Both teams were depleted by injury. Ports began the game with a limp (Tex) Walker, who injured his calf in the opening quarter, and only two on the bench. Curnow and Liddlelow, both crucial players to the blue and white stripes, were missing because of injury and concussion. Esperance were missing there captain, chief playmaker and last year’s Hepburn Medallist, as well as the Symonds brothers and others.
The contest was tough early, with Ports kicking with the wind in the first quarter and moving towards an early lead. The Bulldogs failed to score in the opening term but kicked into gear before half time, kicking three goals to inject some life into the contest and hold a slim half time lead.
Ports would utilise the conditions again in the third quarter to kick another two majors to the Doggies one.
The wind dropped off in the last and the non-scoring end at Ports Oval suddenly became a happier hunting ground for the home side. They kicked another two very late goals to finish the game, one from Dylan Hampel with five minutes to go and then the sealer to Jacob Buckley, who kicked truly in the dying moments. An exhausted Esperance went goalless in the final term.
Jacob Buckley not only kicked the final six-pointer, he also was relentless at the contest for the entirety of the game. He would take home the game ball as the best player on the ground. Dylan Hampel was the only multiple goal scorer for Ports, kicking two.
Sam Franzone was a force around the ground and played well for the doggies.
The win breaks an eight year drought for Ports against Esperance and is David Callows first win as league coach.
The Ports boys sung the theme song with gusto, fortunately they had a board with the lyrics on it to remind those that may have forgotten some of them!
Jack Adams covered the big Ports upset on the Sean for Breakfast Show.
Five goal first quarter blitz sets up 32 points win for the reigning premiers
Gibson 10.10-70 defeated Newtown-Condi 5.8-38
Gibson Oval suffered through persistent rain and chilling conditions, but the home side lit up the track with a blistering opening term kicking 5 goals to nil against Newtown-Condi despite the testing environment. Bowman set the pace early, with the Gibson ruck regularly supplying first use. Trey Hallam was busy early as well.
Newtown-Condi had its moments but were generally outplayed by Gibson. Bertola provided drive and energy from the back half and Captain Jake Oversby stood tall around the contest and applied several big hits in the cold.
Gibson began the game with two men on the bench and by half time were told not to bother with the interchange, having suffered two injuries. The home side still outscored the Lions in the third but couldn’t be contained in the final term, kicking four goals to one. McArthur was Newtown-Condi’s only multiple goal kicker and impressed all afternoon forward and around the ball. Crosby and Cummins were also notable players, playing solidly in the slippery conditions.
For the Tigers, new import forward Callum McFarlane was a class of his own in the wet, kicking three goals and looking slick throughout. Travis Stewart continued his stellar year with two goals, dominating the air and being bullish at ground level. A long sleeved Ben Staunton played his best game for the year, continuously putting his head and body in difficult positions and coming out with the pill. He worked tirelessly.
The showers at the end of this game would never have been more welcome!