By ZAC MILBANK
Adelaide’s supreme firepower proved too much for Port Adelaide to handle as the Crows held on for a 16-point win in the SANFL Showdown at Alberton Oval on Saturday.
Powered by the experience of Josh Jenkins and skill of Tyson Stengle, who booted 10 goals between them, the Crows were able to keep the Magpies at arm’s length for the majority of the afternoon.
Desperate to regain his place in the AFL line-up, Jenkins also found plenty of the ball as he added 22 disposals, seven marks and five tackles to his 6.3 on the scoreboard.
Stengle, recruited from Richmond in the off-season, continues to knock on the selection door with his eye-catching play as he landed plenty of happy snaps en route to four majors.
At the other end, Port officials would have been encouraged by the continued development of Glenelg draftee Tobin Cox, who kicked a game-high five goals.
Cox, who was selected at pick No.9 in last year’s AFL Rookie Draft, showed off plenty of tricks as he won countless one-on-one contests while also handing off at least two goal assists.
And it was the boy from Padthaway who brought the Pies back into the contest with three consecutive goals in the third quarter, trimming the margin from 36 points to 19 in the space of ten minutes.
This helped the hosts cut the deficit to just 20 points at the final change before Jenkins cut loose in the final term.
The Crows’ No.4 kicked back-to-back goals after team-mate Ben Davis converted for the first of the fourth quarter.
Adelaide’s advantage stretched out to as much as 35 points but Port slowly chipped away, reducing this to as little as 10 points on the back of Cox’s fifth 29 minutes in.
The Magpies ran out of time though, leaving Jenkins to boot his sixth and seal the result with a major just seconds before the final siren.
Aside from Jenkins and Stengle, running machine Paul Seedsman made an encouraging return from his knee injury to finish with 23 disposals and seven marks while Jordan Butts was promising in defence with 22 possessions.
Interestingly, Darcy Fogarty played chiefly in attack as opposed to defence as he has the majority of the season. The Glenelg draftee tallied two goals and 11 disposals.
Losing long-kicking backman Trent McKenzie to a hamstring strain 23 minutes into the opening quarter, Port had the tireless Jack Trengove produce another fine display to finish with 37 touches after appearing to hurt his ankle in the opening contest of the match.
Willem Drew got 32 disposals and 12 clearances in his first SANFL match of the season while captain Cam Sutcliffe had his best game in the No.1 guernsey to tally 32 possessions and seven tackles.
ADELAIDE 5.3 11.5 14.8 18.13 (121)
PORT 2.2 5.5 11.6 16.9 (105)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Adelaide: Seedsman 23, Butts, Jenkins 22, Davis, Wright 20, Knight, Poholke 19, Wilson 18.
Port: Trengove 37, Drew, Sutcliffe 32, Pudney 30, Bonner 29, Woodcock 25, Ladhams 24, Hewett 22, Frederick 20.
GOALS – Adelaide: Jenkins 6, Stengle 4, Fogarty 2, Davis, Douglas, McAdam, Poholke, Strachan, Wilson.
Port: Cox 5, Davidson 2, Appleton, Hill, Ladhams, Marshall, Mead, Sutcliffe, Trengove, Wong, Woodcock.
Woodville-West Torrens kept its flagging season alive with a gutsy 11-point win against competition pacesetter Norwood at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.
Snapping a five-game losing streak, the Eagles were staring at a 1-6 win-loss record had they lost their sixth in succession to the Redlegs.
Instead, they produced when it mattered most as little more than a goal came between the two foes all afternoon.
Redleg Cole Gerloff tied up the scores with his second goal of the game nine minutes into the fourth quarter.
But from there, the hosts managed the next seven scoring shots in succession to wrestle back the momentum and earn the valuable premiership points.
Fresh from playing a role in the West End State team’s win against the WAFL, Jared Petrenko gave the Eagles an eight-point lead when he slotted his 50m set shot from a 45C angle.
By the time another Eagle fan favourite who has returned to Oval Avenue, Jimmy Toumpas, converted his chest mark from 35m, Sam Lonergan’s charges opened up a 15-point buffer entering time-on.
Norwood ruckman Sam Baulderstone let fly with a 60m bomb but with the final siren sounding while it was in transit, the Eagles had safely secured its second victory of the season.
Former Swan Jordan Foote continued his red hot start to the season for the Eagles with 28 disposals, nine clearances and two goals while Toumpas finished with 26 possessions and his crucial sealer in the fourth.
Ruckman Jarrad Redden was outstanding throughout the afternoon, tallying 21 disposals, 10 clearances, 19 hit outs and a goal.
Veteran Matt Goldsworthy was also an important presence as he collected 20 disposals in his return from a quad strain.
Norwood had its dual Magarey Medallist Mitch Grigg top its stats sheet with 32 touches but there were several senior players unable to produce their best in assistance.
AFL Draft prospects Dylan Stephens and Cam Taheny again showed signs of their talent, with the latter booting 3.3 from his 13 disposals and seven marks.
EAGLES 4.3 5.6 7.13 10.21 (81)
NORWOOD 3.2 7.7 8.9 10.10 (70)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Eagles: Foote 28, Toumpas 26, Lonergan 22, J. Redden 21, Goldsworthy 20, Johansen 19, Firns, Sharrad 18, Petrenko 16.
Norwood: Grigg 32, Barry, Hamilton, L. Johnston 23, Talia 20, Forster 18, Z. Richards, Stephens 17.
GOALS – Eagles: Foote, Petrenko, Von Bertouch 2, J. Hayes, Moore, J. Redden, Toumpas.
Norwood: Taheny 3, Bampton, Gerloff 2, Baulderstone, Dawe, Smart.
South Adelaide turned the screws on North Adelaide to earn a 22-point win at Prospect Oval.
Now sitting inside the top 3, the Panthers set up the victory during the third term as they kept the Roosters to just three behinds.
Jarrad Wright’s charges had fewer kicks, fewer marks and fewer tackles yet were able to muster a critical 10+ differential in inside 50m entries.
North premiership forward Keenan Ramsey pegged the margin back to 17 points when he booted the second of his three majors for the match two minutes into the fourth quarter.
But the visitors steadied through goals to Ben Heaslip and Sam Overall while journeyman Kyle Emery made it a match-winning lead of 28 points with his fourth major 23 minutes into the last term.
Having played at a high level in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria, Emery finished with nine shots on goal for 4.5 as he illustrated why he could be a genuine wildcard for the Panthers this year.
West End State trio Joe Haines, Matt Rose and Michael Knoll, the latter being the 2019 Fos Williams Medallist, all returned to have strong impacts while veterans Nick Liddle (31 disposals) and Joel Cross (22 disposals and three goals) appeared fresh after the weekend off.
RAA Rookie Cam McGree enjoyed a goal in his Statewide Super League debut as the Panthers prepare to potentially lose Knoll in this month’s AFL mid-season draft.
North made the most of captain Max Thring and former skipper Mitch Clisby returning from hamstring strains as they combined for 48 disposals while Aidan Tropiano and Tom Schwarz also worked hard on the inside of the contest.
But the Roosters were unable to pinch the premiership points as they still strive to get back on level terms on the ladder, sitting in 10th place after the opening seven rounds.
SOUTH 3.3 6.8 9.9 12.12 (84)
NORTH 4.4 5.7 5.10 8.14 (62)
LEADING DISPOSALS – South: Liddle 31, Haines 28, Rose 25, Cross 22, Noble 19, Knoll 18, Fitt 17, Whittlesea 16.
North: Allmond 29, Clisby 26, T. Schwarz 25, Tropiano 24, Combe, Thring 22, Smith 21, Kirk 20.
GOALS – South: Emery 4, Cross 3, Whittlesea 2, Heaslip, McGree, Overall.
North: Ramsey 3, Allmond, Harvey, Szekely, Thring, Tropiano.
Glenelg sent another unwanted record tumbling as it comfortably accounted for Central District by 49 points at X Convenience Oval.
One round after beating the Eagles for the first time in seven years, the Bays trumped the Bulldogs at Elizabeth for the first time in 11 years with a superb display of efficient football.
Mark Stone’s men are showing no signs of being daunted this year as they earned their first premiership points in 10 meetings at the Ponderosa and first since Round 12 2008.
Incredibly, Central had won 24 of its past 25 meetings against the Tigers at Goodman Road but it mattered little as the visitors held the hosts goalless in the opening quarter.
And by time-on of the second stanza, Glenelg had stretched its advantage out to 46 points on the back of classy forward Luke Reynolds booting one of his game-high five goals.
Reynolds, Lachie Hosie (three goals) and Liam McBean (three goals) all continued their exceptional play in the absence of star forward Josh Scott as he continues to recover from a broken arm.
Former West Coast Eagle Luke Partington had his best game in the black and gold to finish with 35 disposals while Jonty Scharenberg (29 disposals) and Matt Snook (24 disposals) also had an equally strong influence through the centre square.
Veteran Aaron Joseph returned from a hamstring strain to collect 17 disposals in defence for the Tigers while fellow backmen Max Proud, Chris Curran and Elliot Chalmers also put in consistent performances.
Central’s two West End State game stars Justin Hoskin and Troy Menzel both tried hard to get their side into the encounter, with Hoskin booting four of his team’s eight goals and Menzel racking up 28 disposals.
But it proved to be to no avail as Roy Laird’s team is left in eighth spot on the ladder with a 2-5 win-loss record nearing the halfway mark of the minor round.
GLENELG 4.4 11.4 13.5 17.7 (109)
CENTRAL 0.4 3.8 5.10 8.12 (60)
LEADING DISPOSALS – Glenelg: Partington 35, Scharenberg 29, Snook 24, Bradley 22, Chalmers, Curran 21, Gould 20, Motlop, Schott 19.
Central: T. Schiller 35, Menzel 28, Hoskin, Presbury 23, Fort, D, Pisani 22, Habel 20, Dew 19.
GOALS – Glenelg: Reynolds 5, Hosie, McBean 3, Bailey, Bradley, Gregson, Motlop, Partington, Scharenberg.
Central: Hoskin 4, Fort, Gillard, Menzel, Jydon Neagle.