After an extremely disappointing season in 2008 Port Adelaide were looking to get off to a good start in ’09 and that’s exactly what they did, charging home against Essendon at AAMI Stadium to win by 41 points on Sunday afternoon.
The Power led from the get-go kicking the first three goals of the match before McPhee struck back and nailed one for the Bombers. A long bomb from Danyle Pearce almost rolled through for a goal in extra time of the first quarter, Daniel Motlop ensured the 6 points was added to the scoreboard as he slotted the stray ball from mid air through for a goal and went into quarter time with a 20 point lead.
Port Adelaide extended their lead going into half time despite the Bombers lifting their intensity in the second quarter. Justin Westhoff helped the Power stay in control with two second quarter goals. Goals to Monfries, Neagle & Stanton kept the Bombers alive. The quality of the game dropped during the second quarter however Danyle Pierce maintained a high standard in a best on ground performance by the 22-year-old.
It was expected that Port would run away with the game kicking with the wind in the third term but Essendon had other plans. Essendon kicked the first two goals of the term thanks to Lovett and Stanton and all of a sudden Essendon were looking the goods. The flow of the game had changed and Essendon had all the run but couldn’t put it on the scoreboard kicking 4 goals and 5 behinds for the quarter.
Trailing by less than 4 goals at three quarter time and kicking with the wind in the final quarter the Bombers had a sniff. A goal in the first minute to Ports Robbie Gray dampened the Bombers spirits but Scott Lucas was quick to reply with his first and only goal for the game. Port Adelaide had chances to seal the game but couldn’t convert. Essendon also missed crucial shots on goals which sealed their fate.
Port Adelaide ran way with the game late in the 4th quarter kicking 3 goals and giving them a confidence boost as they prepare to take on West Coast in Perth next Sunday.
It’s not all bad news for Essendon, debutant Michael Hurley starred keeping Warren Tredrea goalless and did some nice things with the 14 disposals he had. Essendon host the Dockers at Etihad Stadium next Sunday.
Port Adelaide 4.3 8.7 11.12 15.17 (107)
Essendon 1.1 4.3 8.8 9.12 (66)
Port Adelaide: Motlop 4, Westhoff 3, Ebert 2, Pearce, Carlile, P Burgoyne, Carr, Gray, Boak
Essendon: Stanton 2, McPhee, Neagle, Dempsey, Monfries, Skipworth, Lovett, Lucas
Port Adelaide: Pearce, K Cornes, Salopek, Motlop, Carlile, P Burgoyne, Cassisi
Essendon: Watson, Stanton, Fletcher, Skipworth, Hurley, Davey
Port Adelaide: B Ebert (shoulder)
Essendon: T Bellchambers (tactical) replaced in selected side by T Pears.
Port Adelaide: D Brogan reported by field umpire D Margetts for engaging in rough conduct on A Lovett (Essendon) at quartertime.
Umpires: Margetts, Ryan and Jeffery
Official crowd: 28, 315 at AAMI Stadium