Power up in thriller over Pies

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHELAN­GELO RUCCI

PHIL Walsh was proud of the first cen­tre set- up he de­vised for the open­ing of Ade­laide Oval in last year’s first Show­down in the city. He would have smiled again last night.

As Port Ade­laide’s mid­field coach last sea­son, Walsh watched the se­quence that is part of football history at the Oval: Ruck­man Matt Lobbe with the first hit- out; Travis Boak with the first clear­ance and first hand­pass and Ol­lie Wines with the first pos­ses­sion from the break.

It was even neater last night. Lobbe with a hit- out. Wines with the clear­ance and long, di­rect kick from the cen­tre cir­cle that now sym­bol­ises Walsh. And if the um­pires had a sense of theatre, they would have paid Jay Schulz a mark for his leap to the heav­ens in the pocket.

Walsh would have been ap­plaud­ing. And de­light­ing in how the fans were up from their seats again fall­ing in love with the game that has had its heart carry heavy pain for the past week.

Port Ade­laide last night – in the 15th week of its most in­con­sis­tent AFL sea­son in the three un­der Ken Hink­ley’s rule – opened its home game against Colling­wood with that beau­ti­ful football that makes more than Power fans smile.

Colling­wood put the match back in the bal­ance with four unan­swered goals in the sec­ond quar­ter. Port Ade­laide re­dis­cov­ered so much of it­self and of its team game with a sea­son- sav­ing three- point win.

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