Deniliquin Pastoral Times
Marshall powers through the pain
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.