CHARLIE Dixon booted four goals as Port Adelaide gave its top-four hopes a massive boost by outlasting Greater Western Sydney to win a hard-fought contest by 27 points at Marvel Stadium.
Both sides had a disrupted build-up to the crucial contest, with the Giants making a mad dash to Melbourne on Saturday from Queensland after the state's snap lockdown was announced.
GIANTS v POWER Full match coverage and stats
The Power charged out to a 27-point lead in the second term before riding a strong challenge and pulling clear again to prevail, 15.10 (100) to 11.7 (73), on Sunday night.
GWS lost key defender Phil Davis to an apparent neck injury and saw Jacob Hopper taken from the field on a medicab after he was accidentally kicked in the head while attempting a smother.
It compounded a difficult night for the Giants, who missed the chance to climb back into the top-eight.
Power midfielder Ollie Wines was a thorn in their side, tallying 28 disposals and four clearances in another strong display alongside on-ball partner Travis Boak (24 and seven).
Tall forwards Dixon (four goals), Peter Ladhams (three) and Mitch Georgiades (two) all posed problems for the Giants' defence.
Port dominated early as Ladhams kicked his three majors in a high-scoring first half, including two in freakish fashion.
The first came from a bounce that went almost at a right-angle and another from a clever quick snap when he tapped the ball down onto his boot.
The latter came as the two teams combined for 11 goals in an entertaining second term, with the Giants trimming the margin to eight points.
They hit the front briefly during the third quarter but trailed again by seven points when Harry Himmelberg coughed up a huge goal-scoring chance in the shadows of three-quarter time, accidentally letting the shot clock expire and being tackled by the quick-thinking Wines.
Goals to Dixon and Orazio Fantasia gave the Power breathing space early in the final quarter.
Daniel Lloyd kicked three goals for GWS and Toby Greene booted 2.4 on return after a week in isolation, while Josh Kelly (32 disposals) and Hopper (28) battled hard in the midfield.
Lucky off-break opens the Power’s scoring
The Power dominated territory throughout the first term and at the 15-minute mark had been inside their forward arc 15 times to only three for the Giants, but were still yet to kick their first goal of the match. That was until Peter Ladhams took a chest mark outside 50, played on and inexplicably bombed the ball over the top of the goal square where Mitch Georgiades was outnumbered against three Giants defenders. Nick Haynes could’ve run hard to mark the ball but chose to let it bounce either up into his hands or through for a behind, until the ball took a hard-right turn to sail through for the Power’s opening goal. Port went on to kick the next three goals and take command of the match, while Ladhams finished with three majors for his biggest haul in the AFL.
Shot clock hurts Himmelberg in his 100th
Harry Himmelberg had an important but far from enthralling battle with Aliir Aliir as they mostly nullified each other and gathered only 11 to nine disposals in favour of the Power defender. But Himmelberg had a chance to have a big impact in his 100th match as he lined up for a set shot at goal from 30m out with only 20 seconds remaining in the third term. A straight kick would’ve put the Giants within one point at three-quarter time, but after Himmelberg marked his spot twice and took his time to run in for the kick, Ollie Wines appealed to the umpire to call play on and, once he got the call, was able to charge in and tackle an unsuspecting Himmelberg who was dispossessed. Himmelberg did kick a goal in the final term but the missed opportunity felt costly.
Boak bangs a goal in record-breaking game
Travis Boak has had a huge couple of weeks as he reached his 300th match last week, turned 33 years’ old today and passed Kane Cornes to become the Power’s club-games record holder in this match. The three-time All-Australian celebrated in his usual understated but influential style, gathering 24 disposals with 14 contested, seven clearances and five inside 50s. He also kicked a goal in the second term that led to the Power players mobbing him to make up for not quite managing to give him the same attention last week. As usual, Boak looked a little uncomfortable with the fuss but throughout the game he continued to show no signs of slowing down.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 1.1 7.2 10.5 11.7 (73)
PORT ADELAIDE 3.4 8.4 11.6 15.10 (100)
Greater Western Sydney: Lloyd 3, Hogan 2, Greene 2, Ward, Taranto, Mumford, Himmelberg,
Port Adelaide: Dixon 4, Ladhams 3, Georgiades 2, Boak, Butters, Amon, Marshall, Fantasia, Duursma
Greater Western Sydney: Kelly, Hopper, Haynes, Whitfield, Lloyd
Port Adelaide: Amon, Boak, Wines, Dixon, Rozee, Butters, Ladhams
Greater Western Sydney: Phil Davis (concussion), Jacob Hopper (concussion)
Port Adelaide: Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Bruhn (replaced Davis)
Port Adelaide: Woodcock (unused)