Ports def Cowell
SATURDAY’S first semi-final at Rudall was a re-play of the previous week’s final minor round game, where Ports comprehensively accounted for Cowell by a whopping 84 points; and began, at the same time, as Winx missed the jump at Randwick.
Cowell named a number of important inclusions to address reversing the result – Tyler Franklin, David Gray, Wayne Piggott and Corey Everson – and it certainly made a difference.
An effective Brock Mcfarlane snap just on the half-time siren had Cowell in control of the game leading 8-6 (54) to 3-7 (25).
You would have been excused if you confused the teams after the long break; roles were completely reversed and by three quarter time Ports had cut the deficit to just 11 points on the back of two goals to Tom Davey and singles to Adam Davey, Brad Wake and Matt Parker.
Cowell, with the aid of the breeze, had managed just two third quarter goals (both to Kyle Wildman).
At the final break both coaches drew on Donald Trump for inspiration imploring their charges to attack and build a wall.
It worked for Ports.
Sid Masters owned the defensive zone for Ports and Cowell could only eke out two minor scores for the quarter while Ports added majors at the other end of the ground.
When Ashley “Mullet” Masters kicked truly at the 16-minute mark of the final quarter Ports led by a solitary goal.
It was heart in the mouth stuff for the remaining 11 minutes as neither side could find an avenue to goal and a possible draw loomed until Ports put a nail in the coffin right on full time.
The final siren saw Ports win with 12-9 (81) to Cowell’s 10-9 (69).
Best players for Ports: Sid Masters, controlled backhalf for his team, broke tackles with strength and regularly found team mates farther afield; Matt Dodd was an important link-man; Mullet Masters always dangerous up forward and kicked the clutch goal when it counted; Ben Lienert provide plenty of run off his wing; and Caleb Prime and Jarryn Preiss played their defensive roles to instruction.
For Cowell their best were Brock McFarlane – hard to contain when you are a proficient disposer of the ball off either side of your body, Tyler Franklin – gives 100 per cent for 100 minutes week in week out, Zane Wycamp – sponsored by AirBNB, Alec Klingberg and Todd Schumann.
Goals: Ports: T. Davey 4, A. Masters 2, A. Davey 2, M. Parker 2, B. Wake, L. Harrowfield. Cowell: K. Wildman 4, A. Klingberg 2, L. Helps, K. Fiegert, B. Mcfarlane, J. Burton
Ports will face the loser of the second semi-final between Kimba and Eastern Ranges on Saturday, September 1 at Arno Bay.