MAGPIES MUSCLE INTO GRAND FINAL

Published on: Sep 10 2017 | Author: Zac Milbank |

Port Adelaide will feature in its first Macca’s League Grand Final since 2014 after upsetting Woodville-West Torrens by 33 points in the Second Semi-Final at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

Despite having just one fit man on the bench for the second half, the Magpies were able to maintain a comfortable space on the Eagles for the entire contest as they showed no ill effect from the club’s heart-breaking AFL loss on Saturday night.

A fast start in the opening term by Chad Cornes’ charges had the Eagles on the back foot early, with the minor premier still looking half asleep after enjoying last weekend off.

The Magpies slammed the first five goals of the game on while holding Michael Godden’s men to just one behind for the first quarter.

And while the Eagles kicked the first three – two to Ken Farmer Medallist Michael Wundke – in the second stanza, it was the only serious threat to the Pies, who will be aiming to win their first Macca’s League premiership since 1999 on Sunday September 24.

With Nathan Krakouer and Matt White sidelined by injury for the second half, the Magpies still forged ahead with captain Steven Summerton at his inspirational best as the leading disposal-winner on the ground with 36 adding to his 12 marks and dribble goal on the verge of half-time.

Desperate to lead his side to victory on Grand Final day, Summerton covered plenty of territory to earn his possessions with 18 of his total being contested to indicate his balanced performance.

Big-bodied midfielder Brendon AhChee didn’t have as much of the ball but was equally damaging with his eye-catching play, using his penetrating kick and handballs to advantage while also soaring for a memorable overhead mark during the third term.

Former Eagle Jimmy Toumpas – who played in Woodville-West Torrens’ last flag in 2011 – was composed across half-back, chalking up 35 disposals while setting up several attacks from defence.

Apart from the second term surge, the Eagles struggled to place any scoreboard pressure on their rivals with Chris Hall trying hard to break the lines for his team while also having three shots on goal from the midfield.

Expect Godden to back in the majority of his squad at the selection table despite them needing to find more avenues to goal than Wundke, who continues to play a virtual lone-hand in finals for the Eagles.

Having earned the double-chance for finishing top of the table, the Eagles will now face Sturt in next Sunday’s Preliminary Final from 2.10pm at the Adelaide Oval.

Port will now enjoy a week’s rest to prepare for the title-decider, with Krakouer and White to be given every chance to recover.

Three players – Jackson Trengove, Matthew Broadbent and Aaron Young – were late withdrawals on Sunday and won’t take any further part in the major round as they haven’t qualified for SANFL finals.

SECOND SEMI-FINAL SCOREBOARD

Port  5.5  7.6  8.11  10.13 (73)
Eagles  0.1  3.2  3.6  5.10 (40)

BEST – Port: Summerton, Ah Chee, Toumpas, Lienert, R. Young.
Eagles: Hall, N. Hayes, Wundke.

GOALS – Port: Eddy, Krakouer 2, R. Young, Atley, T. Gray, Johnson, Summerton, White.
Eagles: Wundke 3, Haylock, Hall.

UMPIRES – Corey Bowen, Michael Sboro, Scott Hosking.

CROWD –  9029 at Adelaide Oval.

 

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