SANFL Second Semi Final – Glenelg v Port Adelaide
Glenelg’s first finals series in years was well deserved after a strong showing all year in the minor rounds. With Partington expected to do well at the Magarey count, the Tigers must have been brimming with energy heading into the match. The Magpies had conversely had quite a rollercoaster season, and their previous weeks’ match versus Adelaide had not been a free flowing or overly confident encounter.
From the opening bounce, it was clear it was going to be an arm wrestle, with both teams tackling hard and leaving little space for one another to break the game open. The Magpies were first on the board with a pair of goals, shocking the Bays early on, but Snook responded in earnest at the 10 minute marks to get the Tigers on the board. The inconsistency of the umpiring continued from the earlier match, and at times interrupted the smoothness of the play. A towering mark by McBean had the Bays ahead by a point, but some great movement through the centre of the ground through to the goals had the Magpies striking back to be 5pts up at the first break.
Glenelg opened strongly by entering their 50 repeatedly, but they were repelled time after time by the steadfast Port Adelaide defence. Finally McBean scored Glenelg’s first, quickly followed by a second from Bailey that dribbled across the line after some tough bodywork by teammate Scott. Both teams seesawed into the lead over the quarter, applying relentless pressure, until Port outlasted the energy of the bays and ended the quarter 8 points ahead.
The heavens opened for the second half, adding some slip and slide to the third quarter. Despite the Bays opening strongly, it was Port who scored first via Drew. The Magpies generally handled the soapy conditions better, with a score from Motlop. Port failed to capitalise upon their chances though with several missed shots at goal, until Sutcliffe steadied the ship with a left foot snap that put the Magpies 15 points in front with 25 minutes gone. A collision by two Tigers right in front of the Magpies goal allowed Johnson to walk into an open shot, giving Port a 16 point lead at the final break.
The tigers got the start they wanted moving the ball around smartly and soccering through the first major of the quarter, buy they continued to squander opportunities inside the 50m line. They moved to within 4 points of the Magpies and the fans were holding their breath. A goal by Partington put the Bays in front for the first time and the faithful were on their feet. A quick goal in response by Frampton say Port back to 4 points, and then it was the Magpies who squandered opportunities and let the Bays stay in touch. Cox put the Magpies up by 10 points with another goal, and that was clawed back to 4 points thanks to a strong mark and goal by Reynolds.
But the Maggies held on to their 4 point lead until the end, and will meet the winner of Glenelg v Adelaide next week.
Next Match – Preliminary Final Glenelg v Adelaide, 3:15pm Sept 15th at Adelaide Oval
Match report by Tony Polese