Wind no help to players

DODGE: Ports' Luke Harrowfield protects the ball from an Eastern Ranges player's arm during Saturday's match at Port Neill. Picture: Judith Rehn
DODGE: Ports' Luke Harrowfield protects the ball from an Eastern Ranges player's arm during Saturday's match at Port Neill. Picture: Judith Rehn

Ports 5-10 (40) lost to Eastern Ranges  7-6 (48)

AT Saturday’s netball and football games at Port Neill Sporting Complex credit must go to everyone from Eastern Ranges and Ports for turning up and having a go on a day that was extremely difficult for everybody.

A few fun facts from the day’s play: in the B grade football, a pine tree refused to divulge the whereabouts of the football late in the last quarter with the game close enough for it to matter.

A new ball was supplied from the sidelines but then the umpire, who had been searching for the ball, had to be alerted and recalled to the game – no easy task shouting into the wind.

A netball was blown across the oval, which disrupted both the football and netball matches.

A Bermuda triangle area seemed to be created between hand and foot resulting in very few balls travelling where they were meant to.

Ports got the win in the B grade match in a scrappy game with very few goals kicked but many balls went out of bounds on the full, including five in a row at one stage, as well as a high number of boundary throw ins.

The half time score was two points apiece but then three quick goals to Ports late in the final quarter – after not troubling the scorers in the third quarter – secured their first win against Eastern Ranges for the year.

The A grade match promised to be a tough game with both Ports and Eastern Ranges coming off losses last week and finals fast approaching.

Eastern Ranges won the toss and started kicking with the wind, which was so strong it was not much of an advantage in the end.

Play ended up staying in the scoreboard pocket for most of the first quarter until Eastern Ranges’ Kane Schubert managed to kick a goal from there.

Ports’ Sid Masters then passed, ran on, marked and kicked a 45-metre goal into the wind, which was the only one kicked at that end for the day.

Eastern Ranges’ Kane Schubert crumbed another goal on the siren at the beginning of the quarter-time break.

Quarter time score saw with Ports 1-1 (7) to Eastern Ranges’ 2-3 (15).

Once again, the wind bottled things up in the scoreboard pocket with play only coming out twice, with goals to Ports’ Ashley Masters and Ben Lienert.

The conditions were so bad it was hard to pick any players dominating.

Half time score saw Ports with 3-5 (23) to Eastern Ranges’ 2-3 (15).

The third quarter started with two goals to Eastern Ranges inside the first few minutes from the centre bounce.

The game then stagnated in the centre before moving to the scoreboard pocket and doing the same thing.

Ports were running the ball into the wind but being exposed on the rebound as Ranges ran the ball back down the clubroom wing into a less congested forward line. 

Eastern Ranges’ Nathan Byrnes in the play of the day, took three bounces down the clubroom wing and hit his target on the chest. 

Eastern Ranges’ Kane Schubert kicked two goals for the quarter with singles to Nathan Byrnes, Tom Forrest and Jess Kenny. 

Three quarter time saw Ports with 3-5 (23) to Eastern Ranges’ 7-6 (48).

Eastern Ranges with a score to protect had every player in the defensive half and the ball spent a fair amount of time in the scoreboard pocket.

This resulted in five points to Ports for the quarter before Sid Masters booted a goal from 60 metres on the clubroom side. 

Ports’ Bayley Dunning kicked one from the same area but closer in and Ports were pressing but time was to beat them. 

The full time scores saw Ports with 5-10 (40), going down by eight points to Eastern Ranges’ 7-6 (48). 

Best players, which I’m glad I did not have to pick, were those players who were hard at the body and ball and could execute skills in the difficult conditions. 

For Eastern Ranges, the best players were Jess Kenny, Alex Sampson, Jonathan Forrest, Nathan Byrnes and Rick Leonard.

For Ports, best players were Ross Campbell, Sid and Brad Masters, Brad Wake and Tom Davey. 

Ports would like to thank the Eastern Ranges officials for inspecting the ground and declaring it fit to be play on.

Ports, who currently sit in the third spot on the ladder, will now be hosting bottom of the ladder Cowell at Port Neill next week, for the final game in the home and away round.

Eastern Ranges will be defending their top spot on the Eastern Eyre Football Association ladder against second seat Kimba at home, before they host the first semi-final at Rudall on Saturday, August 19.