Bitter rivals Port Adelaide and Adelaide once again packed Adelaide Oval for the much anticipated Round 5 Showdown. Coming off a win against reigning Premiers Hawthorn, the Power had earned favorite status against a Crows outfit which has been playing much better football under the tutelage of new coach Phil Walsh.
Despite registering the game’s first two goals through the dynamic Eddie Betts, a spirited but wasteful Adelaide Crows could not match the more skilled Power over the entire four quarters. Betts starred for Adelaide kicking five goals but it wasn’t enough to get the Crows over the line as Port ran out 24 point winners on the back of a five goal haul from full forward Jay Schulz.
Incredibly over the course of the match the Crows entered their 50 meter arc on a whopping 71 occasions, but failed to convert this forward domination into anything meaningful on the scoreboard with their disposal letting them down time and time again. Port Adelaide on the other hand was much more direct in attack, with Schulz and new recruit Patrick Ryder proving too much for the Adelaide backs to handle.
After falling behind early as Betts ran amok for the Crows, the Power gained the ascendancy with Robbie Gray and Travis Boak instrumental in controlling the ball. Port kicked five unanswered goals to lead by 16 points at quarter time.
The second quarter was completely dominated by Adelaide in relation to possession and time in their forward line. However that advantage was nullified by ineffective and at times downright awful disposal of the ball by foot up forward, giving Port the chance to hit back on the counter-attack. Despite having most of the play in the quarter, Adelaide went further behind as Port kicked three goals without a miss to Adelaide’s two goals and five behinds.
In the second half fans saw a great battle by two teams committed to the task. Adelaide’s Patrick Dangerfield racked up possessions while Betts continued to provide plenty of highlights in attack. Adelaide could not get key forward Taylor Walker into the game but Betts continued to keep his team in the contest with moments of brilliance by hand and foot. The Crows edged back to within five points in the third quarter but Gray, Boak and Brad Ebert continued to use the ball to their forwards' advantage, allowing Port to stretch the lead once again to a handy 13 points at three quarter time.
Scott Thompson kicked two miraculous goals for the Crows to get the crowd up and going in the final quarter but Port would not be denied. Kane Mitchell chipped in for two goals before Ryder, Schulz, Westhoff and Wingard finished the contest off with a flurry of attack that snuffed out any chance of a Crow victory.
The final margin of 24 points was probably a little harsh on Adelaide given their time of possession and a 71-42 inside 50 meter tally. However Port’s superior skill level and direct attack made all the difference in a tough and at times frantic contest.
Port coach Ken Hinkley will be feeling pleased with his team’s back-to-back victories over Hawthorn and Adelaide with a much easier draw coming up, starting with a home game against the West Coast Eagles. Adelaide will look to bounce back as they head north to take on an injury riddled Gold Coast Suns outfit.
Scoreboard: Adelaide 2.3 4.8 9.11 13.13 (91) Port Adelaide 5.1 8.1 12.6 18.7 (115) Best Players: Adelaide: Betts, Dangerfield, Thompson, Ellis-Yolmen, Lynch Port Adelaide: Gray, Boak, Ebert, Schulz, Pittard, Hartlett, Ryder
Article last changed on Wednesday, May 06, 2015 - 7:05 AM EDT