Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Mar­shall pow­ers through the pain

- Sports · Phil Taylor

A heroic ef­fort from for­mer Deni Rams ju­nior Todd Mar­shall has helped steer Port Ade­laide to the AFL pre­lim­i­nary fi­nals.

The 21 year-old bravely bat­tled through the qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal against Geelong on Thurs­day night, de­spite a heavy fall on his right shoul­der in the first quar­ter.

Un­able to move his arm, Mar­shall went off the ground and into the rooms.

De­spite a quiet game, where he was mainly used to keep ro­ta­tions on the bench, Mar­shall proved his worth in the dy­ing stages of the last quar­ter.

Port were lead­ing by just 12 points with four and half minutes left on the clock when Mar­shall marked un­con­tested in­side his for­ward 50.

He went back and nailed the goal from 50m out, seal­ing the win for the Power, record­ing a 16 point vic­tory.

Mar­shall told the PAS­TORAL TIMES on Fri­day that he knew it would go through for a goal as soon as it hit his boot.

‘‘We were all a bit gassed so a few boys said to take my 30 sec­onds, and when it went through the feel­ing was great and put us in good po­si­tion to win the game,’’ he said.

‘‘The feel­ing on the ground af­ter the siren was one of the best I’ve been a part of, and the change rooms were buzzing with ex­cite­ment. We have a few days now to rest and then we get back to train­ing and work­ing out who we will play in the pre­lim.’’

The match be­tween the Power and the Cats was hotly con­tested, with nei­ther side budg­ing in the first term.

Mar­shall started the game beau­ti­fully with a few pres­sure acts and tap ons putting his side into at­tack.

It was just 10 minutes into the game when Mar­shall crashed hard into the ground shoul­der first, when leap­ing up to tap the ball onto a team­mate.

‘‘I felt good go­ing into the game. We had a solid hit out the week­end be­fore, so we got some con­fi­dence out of that,’’ Mar­shall said.

‘‘I re­mem­ber I was in the air and got my legs taken out and just landed on the point of my shoul­der.’’

Scans re­vealed yes­ter­day that Mar­shall only suf­fered mi­nor dam­age to his AC joint, mean­ing he is still a big chance to fea­ture in Port Ade­laide’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal next week.

‘‘We’ll man­age him this week and I dare say the med­i­cal staff will have to put him through his fit­ness test and then there’ll be a de­ci­sion as coaches of if there’s any risk fac­tor to it but I’m sure Todd will be fine,’’ Port Ade­laide as­sis­tant coach Jar­rad Schofield said.

Mar­shall’s brave ef­forts on Thurs­day did not go un­recog­nised, with his team­mates and coach Ken Hink­ley prais­ing him in the rooms post-game.

Footage in the chang­e­rooms showed Hink­ley sin­gling out the key for­ward’s ef­forts in his post match ad­dress to the team.

His praise for Mar­shall con­tin­ued in the post-game press con­fer­ence.

‘‘Todd Mar­shall’s a spe­cial per­son, a spe­cial player,’’ Hink­ley said.

‘‘He just had to hang in for us tonight . . . and he needed some help and sup­port to get through the game, but to stay out there, then take that clutch shot from 45 me­tres or 50 me­tres from goal and be able to fin­ish it (was im­pres­sive).

He was still in a fair bit of pain, and I was so proud of Todd to be hon­est, and I’m sure a lot of peo­ple will be proud of Todd tonight (Thurs­day).’’

The Power will now have a week off be­fore play­ing in a home pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal against the win­ner of this week­end’s semi fi­nal be­tween Rich­mond and St Kilda.

 ??  ?? ■ Todd Mar­shall walks off the field af­ter in­jur­ing his shoul­der dur­ing Thurs­day night’s qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal. Photo courtesy AAP Im­age/David Mar­iuz.
■ Todd Mar­shall walks off the field af­ter in­jur­ing his shoul­der dur­ing Thurs­day night’s qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal. Photo courtesy AAP Im­age/David Mar­iuz.

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