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Port stamps flag credentials with strong win over Hawks

Highlights: Port Adelaide v Hawthorn The Power and the Hawks clash in round 10
Angus Monfries of the Power celebrates a goal during the 2014 AFL Round 10 match between Port Adelaide Power and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide on May 24, 2014. (Photo: AFL Media)
Angus Monfries celebrates a goal against Hawthorn on Saturday night
PORT ADELAIDE enhanced it status as a flag fancy after doses of Chad Wingard brilliance inspired a 14-point win against reigning premier Hawthorn on Saturday night.

Wingard kicked three goals and set up two others in a 15.10 (100) to 13.8 (86) triumph before 52,233 spectators at Adelaide Oval - the largest crowd at an AFL game in the South Australian capital.

Port retained top spot and has defeated powerhouses Hawthorn, Geelong and Fremantle in its past four matches.

The Power survived a scare from the injury-hit Hawks, who appeared down and out when five goals behind midway through the third quarter.

Hawthorn then rallied with four unanswered goals in a tick over seven minutes to creep within seven points at three-quarter time.

But Port answered the challenge early in the last term when Hamish Hartlett kicked two precious goals in two minutes to give the home side a match-defining break.

Power coach Ken Hinkley said that although the Hawks' push late in the third term was a cause for concern, he backed his side's ability to close games out.

"We know we're pretty strong in the last quarters most times ... having played Freo, Geelong, Hawthorn over the last month now, you know that at some stage they're going to be in control of the game and you've just got to keep going," Hinkley said.
"In [the rooms] when I was just talking to them, it felt a little down – the mood … but I think that was because we'd worked so hard as a group and probably as much as anything they were relieved."

Wingard was heroic, his attacking partner Angus Monfries booted four goals and onballer Jared Polec (26 disposals, one goal) was superb with dash and dare through the midfield.

Port captain Travis Boak (34 disposals, seven tackles) vied for best-afield honours and, with Brad Ebert (28 possessions), helped overwhelm a Hawk midfield driven by veteran Jordan Lewis.

Lewis was a standout with 38 disposals and two goals, Matt Suckling collected 28 touches and Shaun Burgoyne (24 possessions, two goals) was prominent.

But the visitors were overly reliant on Luke Breust and Jack Gunston in attack - the duo potted three goals each for the Hawks, who suffered their third loss this season.

Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge will attract Match Review Panel scrutiny for a bump which stunned Wingard in the second quarter - but he appeared unlucky as initial contact was made arm-to-arm before slipping high.

Hodge's teammate Taylor Duryea's shirtfront some 10 minutes on Port's Kane Mitchell will also be examined - the blow stunned Mitchell, but he didn't leave the field.

The Hawks finished the game ahead in several key performance indicators including inside 50s (55-47), clearances (44-42) and tackles (74-62) but coach Alastair Clarkson said his side was hurt by costly turnovers.
"Some of the stats suggested that [the game was played on our terms] but we just didn't have enough polish with the ball," Clarkson said.
"We turned some crucial balls over that allowed them too easy access."

Brad Sewell tries to get a kick away under pressure from Jared Polec on Saturday night. Picture: AFL Media

PORT ADELAIDE       4.2    8.3    11.7   15.10   (100)
HAWTHORN               2.3    4.4   10.6   13.8      (86)          
Port Adelaide: Monfries 4, Wingard 3, Gray, Hartlett 2, Boak, Polec, Schulz, Mitchell
Hawthorn: Gunston, Breust 3, Lewis, Burgoyne 2, Birchall, Shiels, Hartung
Port Adelaide: Boak, Ebert, Polec, Wines, Cornes, Wingard
Hawthorn: Lewis, Suckling, Burgoyne, Smith, Gunston, Shiels, Schoenmakers
Port Adelaide: Monfries (ankle)
Hawthorn: McEvoy (corked leg)
Port Adelaide: Angus Monfries (ankle) replaced by Aaron Young at three-quarter time
Hawthorn: Ben McEvoy (corked leg) replaced by Jonathan Simpkin at half-time
Reports: Nil
Umpires: Farmer, Hosking, Findlay
Official crowd: 52,233 at Adelaide Oval