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Port pulls off upset win over Eagles

Port youngster Oliver Wines was impressive in his side's six-point win - ${keywords}
Port youngster Oliver Wines was impressive in his side's six-point win

PORT Adelaide has scored an upset six-point victory over West Coast in Alice Springs on Saturday night

The Power impressed against one of the premiership favourites, leading by as much as 34 points before holding on for the 1.13.5 (92) to 1.11.11 (86) win.

Captain Travis Boak marked his return to the side with 24 possessions and Hamish Hartlett maintained his impressive lead-up to season 2013 with 16 touches; his confidence in his body after several injury-plagued seasons obvious.

Despite losing Chris Masten to a tight quad in the warm-up, West Coast set about demolishing the Power early and Josh Kennedy (five goals) was too much for Alipate Carlile to handle, kicking three in the first term.

Howeve Port's pressure efforts increased and last year's easy beats took it right up to the early premiership fancies.

Beau Waters and Will Schofield were busy in defence for the Eagles, while Port Adelaide's 18-year-old star-in-the-making Oliver Wines' hardness around the ball amazed.

After racking up almost half of the Power's clearances last weekend against Melbourne, Wines had another five by half-time to go with his nine contested possessions.

The Power were simply more intense around the ball as half-time approached, leading clearances and smashing the Eagles with their tackling pressure.

Scott Selwood and Andrew Gaff mistook each other for opposition players when they crashed heads and when Chad Wingard was rewarded for lively work with a third goal, the Power threatened to skip away.

The tempo lifted in the third term when the Power's Cameron O'Shea bombed home the game's first super goal but after the lead blew out to 34 points the Eagles launched their attack.

Shannon Hurn booted his side's first nine pointer and two goals from Josh Hill in as many minutes reduced the margin to just four points.

Dean Cox was giving West Coast's midfielders first use of the ball, Jack Darling was imposing around the ground as the Eagles started the final quarter with all the momentum.

It was a see-sawing last quarter with both sides going goal for goal, but Port held its nerve as the match heated up and was able to hold onto a surprise win.

What it means  
Saturday night's match was billed as a warm-up for West Coast ahead of round one, with the Eagles an early tip to challenge for this year's flag. But it was the Power who looked the side wanting to start 2013 on a high, the side's intensity highlighted by a 48-38 favourable tackle count. If Port could maintain that desperation for the football this season fans will have far more to smile about. West Coast will welcome back important players for round one so wouldn't have too much to worry about and coach John Worsfold could rest easy in the way his side responded after falling 34 points behind midway through the third term.
 
Fantasy snapshot
After averaging 99 points last season, the Power's Brad Ebert looks set for another lucrative year; the only player to reach triple figures with 103 points on Saturday night. He leads the side in tackles nearly every game, spreads from stoppages well and marks around the ground, ensuring he'll be a dependable midfield performer for your side all year. Travis Boak was good with 87 points, but needed to boot a few goals to join Ebert above 100. For West Coast, few players enjoyed fruitful Dream Team nights, with Josh Kennedy (87) the pick of the bunch thanks to a five-goal haul.










WEST COAST          0.4.1    0.5.7    1.10.3    1.11.11   (86)
PORT ADELAIDE   0.3.0    0.8.2     1.8.10    1.13.5     (92)

SUPERGOALS 
West Coast:
 Hurn
Port Adelaide: O'Shea

GOALS
West Coast:
Kennedy 5, Darling, Hill 2, Cox, Priddis
Port Adelaide: Wingard 3, Schulz, Moore 2, Westhoff, Stewart, Stevenson, Lobbe, Neade, Hartlett

BEST
West Coast:
Schuey, Schofield, Kennedy, Waters, Gaff, Darling
Port Adelaide: Boak, Hartlett, Wines, Brad Ebert, Moore, Wingard

INJURIES
West Coast:
Masten (quad), Gaff (cut head)
Port Adelaide: Nil

Reports: Nil

Official crowd: 4,244 at Traeger Park
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs