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Crows caught by Port

Max Phillips  April 29, 2017 6:00 PM

Elliott Himmelberg SANFL trial Sturt 620.jpg

Elliott Himmelberg booted two goals against Port Adelaide in Saturday's SANFL Showdown

Adelaide has slumped to its second straight SANFL loss after being overrun by Port Adelaide by 35 points at Maughan Thiem Hyundai Oval on Saturday afternoon.

The Crows squandered a 25-point quarter-time lead to fall to the Magpies for the first time in almost two years in the Club’s one and only SANFL home game of 2017.

Adelaide stunned the visitors with four unanswered goals in the opening term while Port failed to find the middle.

But a short-kicking, high-possession game style helped the Magpies claw the margin back quickly in the second quarter.

Back-to-back goals to Paul Hunter and Jonathon Beech briefly saw the Crows snatch the lead in the third, but it was all Port Adelaide thereafter.

SANFL stats: Round Four

Magpies spearhead Brett Eddy kicked three goals in the shadows of three-quarter time then slotted the first major of the final term to all-but seal the result.

Port Adelaide fielded a near full-strength lineup featuring 20 AFL-listed players alongside SANFL captain Steven Summerton.

An inexperienced Crows side competed hard all afternoon but was punished for its turnovers and couldn’t contain Port’s potent forward line.


Adelaide won the clearances convincingly 44-28 and had 10 more inside 50ms while Port Adelaide was more efficient with its ball movement and almost doubled the Crows’ marks tally 147-79.

Crows SANFL coach Ryan O'Keefe lamented his side's lacklustre second term after such a promising start to the contest.

"Six goals to one (in the second quarter). There’s the difference, that’s the game," O'Keefe said.

"For three quarters of the game I thought we were pretty competitive and played the way we wanted to, but we slipped away from it in that second term. Port’s a good side and they came at us.

"We went away from our brand of footy for one term and it cost us. It’s as simple as that." 

There were plenty of positives to come from the clash despite the final scoreline.

Jordan Gallucci was lively in his return from a shin complaint. The first-year Crow used his speed and skill to bring his teammates into the play with a season-best 24 possessions and five clearances.

Young backman Lachlan Murphy continues to show maturity beyond his years. The 18-year-old had 20 disposals and six marks, including a team-high four intercepts, and displayed immense courage on numerous occasions deep in defence.

Left-footer Troy Menzel (23 disposals, seven marks) showed his flair and class in his return to SANFL level, while Hugh Greenwood (27 disposals, 11 clearances) was again Adelaide’s most influential midfielder at the coalface.

Veteran Scott Thompson moved freely and was strong in the clinches with 23 possessions, 10 clearances and seven tackles.

Tyson Lever, younger brother of Crows defender Jake, made his SANFL debut for the Club and settled into the contest well, particularly after half-time.

Hunter and first-year forward Elliott Himmelberg finished as Adelaide’s only multiple goalkickers with two apiece.

The Club dedicated Saturday’s game to Crows Ambassador and two-time BMX World Champion Sam Willoughby’s recovery from a serious spinal injury.

The loss relegaed Adelaide to seventh spot on the SANFL ladder and was further soured by a concussion to key forward Harry Dear late in the second term.

Defender Tom Doedee was withdrawn from the side pre-game with a shoulder complaint.

The SANFL Crows return to Maughan Thiem Hyundai Oval to confront the League-leading Eagles next Saturday afternoon.


ADELAIDE
             4.4   5.5   7.7   8.11 (59)
PORT ADELAIDE   0.3   6.5   10.8   14.10 (94)

GOALS
Adelaide:
Hunter 2, Himmelberg 2, O’Brien, Jarman, Wigg, Beech
Port Adelaide:
Krakouer 5, Eddy 5, White, Neade, Ladhams, Snelling

BEST
Adelaide:
Murphy, Menzel, Greenwood, O’Brien, Gallucci, Jarman, Thompson
Port Adelaide:
Eddy, Bonner, Frampton, Summerton, Atley, Monfries

INJURIES
Adelaide:
Dear (concussion), Doedee (shoulder) withdrawn from the team pre-match
Port Adelaide:
White (hamstring)