K rock Football

Power a step closer to finals

LADDER-leaders Port Adelaide produced a stunning surge to overwhelm the Western Bulldogs by 13 points in Monday night’s AFL game.

Port’s ruthless third quarter laid the platform for the 8.7 (55) to 5.12 (42) win at Adelaide Oval.

The victory leaves the Power a win clear atop the table from Brisbane, who meet reigning premiers Richmond on Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs remain eighth and in a mid-ladder jam – they’re equal on premiership points with three other clubs.

Port’s triumph was created by a brutal 16-minute purple patch in the third term which reaped four unanswered goals after they had trailed the visitors for the entire first half.

The Power’s attacking tandem of Charlie Dixon and Robbie Gray slotted two goals each while Zak Butters was their prime ball-winner with 24 disposals.

Onballers Ollie Wines (18 touches) and Tom Rockliff (23 possessions) provided the midfield grunt; Tom Jonas and Trent McKenzie led a miserly defence while ruckman Peter Ladhams was influential with 18 disposals and 32 hitouts.

The Dogs’ Sam Lloyd and Toby McLean kicked two goals apiece – McLean’s were the visitors’ only majors from midway through the second quarter until midway through the last.

Bulldogs Jack Macrae (28 disposals), Tom Liberatore (25 possessions), captain Marcus Bontempelli (22 touches, eight clearances) and Bailey Smith (20 touches) battled hard but couldn’t prevent their club sliding to a fifth loss of the season.

Port utility Sam Mayes faces a likely sanction for a shoulder bump which struck the head of Josh Dunkley in the opening term.

Fortunately for Mayes, Dunkley was only momentarily stunned and continued playing as the Bulldogs took an early ascendancy without returns on the scoreboard.

The Dogs held a three-point halftime lead, 3.5 to 3.2, despite recording 25 to 12 inside 50s for the half.

The visitors then paid for their attacking impotency when the tide turned to Port in the third quarter.

The Power booted four goals in a 16-minute blitz, including two in three minutes to spearhead Dixon.

Port’s dominated the clearances and territory – the home side recorded 17 to three inside 50s – in a match-defining quarter.

And unlike the Dogs in the first half, the competition pacesetters converted their control into scores, booting 4.3 to 0.1 for the term for a 23-point three-quarter time lead.

The damage had been done for the Dogs, who meet Brisbane at the Gabba next Saturday night while Port meet Richmond at home next Saturday.

(C) AAP 2020

PORT ADELAIDE 1.2 3.2 7.5 8.7 (55)

WESTERN BULLDOGS 2.5 3.5 3.6 5.12 (42)

Goals: Port Adelaide: C Dixon 2 R Gray 2 K Farrell O Wines P Ladhams S Powell- Pepper. Western Bulldogs: S Lloyd 2 T McLean 2 C Weightman.

Umpires: Brendan Hosking, Hayden Gavine, Cameron Dore.

Official Crowd: 14,159 at Adelaide Oval.