Ports 17-13 (115) def Eastern Ranges 10-5 (65)
A VERY good crowd rolled into Arno Bay oval, expecting the worst but getting the best – weather.
The A grade preliminary final was between Ports and Eastern Ranges and could have gone either way on paper.
Both teams were playing open and attacking the football, which was attractive to watch.
Eastern Ranges’ Kenny and Ports’ Dodd were playing well.
The second quarter was much the same, with Ports getting an edge on the scoreboard, which gave them the upper hand.
Everyone expected the wind to pick-up as per usual, but the weather gods decided to provide the perfect day instead.
The third quarter began as an arm wrestle contest, then the momentum changed and Ports’ skill level and persistence began to pay off.
In the final quarter, Ports were in the winning position and you could see their confidence grow.
Eastern Ranges continued getting the ball but Ports’ pressure on the ball carrier meant Eastern Ranges did not use the ball well, while the opposite was happening for Ports.
Ports had extremely good use of the ball all day, with key players, Luke Harrowfield (forward), Matt Dodd (centre) and Sid Masters (defence) doing well.
Eastern Ranges had no X-factor going forward, with the best players all being on-ballers, which meant they needed more key position support.
Ports deserved their victory, and Kimba will now wonder if they have run into good form at the right time of the year.
GOALS: Ports: L. Harrowfield 4, A. Masters 4, M. Parker 2, S. Masters 2, R. Campbell 1, B. Lienert 1, A. Davey 1, B. Masters 1, T. Clarke 1; Eastern Ranges: J. Kenny 4, K. Schubert 3, T. Forrest 1, J. Forrest 1, H. Norris 1.
Ports were in the winning position and you could see their confidence grow.
BEST: Ports: S. Masters, A. Masters, L. Harrowfield, M. Dodd, B. Masters, R. Campbell; Eastern Ranges: N. Byrnes, J. Kenny, T. Forrest, R. Beinke, D. Hannemann.
The grand finals will be held at Cowell on Saturday, with the first game, junior colts starting at 9.30am.
Gates open at 8am, with admission for adults eight dollars, and pensioners four dollars.
See page 19 for Scratch’s grand final preview.