Port Melbourne has given North Ballarat a good old fashioned hiding in their final round clash of the Peter Jackson VFL season at North Port Oval. The Borough booted the first eight goals of the game, amassing 44 scoring shots to 18 in their demolition of the Roosters winning 24.20.164 to 7.11.53.
Spring was in the air at Port Melbourne with the smell of premiership success in the nostrils of the Borough faithful who had gathered beneath the Norm Goss Stand. Before you could blink the home side were six goals in front at the first change with Toby Pinwell in everything kicking two goals and Daniel Connors on the board early in his quest to secure the Frosty Miller Medal.
It took until the fourteen-minute-mark of the second term before North Ballarat registered their first goal thanks to Bryce Curnow. Curnow booted his second a minute later; however it didn't stop the Borough's momentum.
Their midfield brigade of Pinwell, James Magner, Shane Valenti and Chris Cain controlled the corridor and anything wide of it. By half-time the premiership favourites had blown the game apart, leading 11.8.74 to 2.6.18.
They continued on their merry way in the third quarter adding a further seven goals, two of which came from the boot of Julian Rowe who was making a welcome return to the side. Connors kicked his third in the quarter before a toe injury saw him leave the field.
He returned briefly before the three-quarter-time siren but eventually sat the final term out in an obvious precautionary measure with the finals a week away. The Roosters enjoyed their best quarter of the match kicking three goals and showed spirit with Trent Dumont, Curnow and Lachlan George doing their best to lift their teammates.
Port slammed on four goals in just six minutes to start the final quarter with Will Johnson booting his third and defender Sam Pleming, who had shifted forward in the third, adding two more to extend the lead out beyond 100 points.
North Ballarat had their share of concerns with Nick Peters, Chris Giampaolo and Nick Couch all with leg injuries and Liam Anthony leaving the field bloodied following a knock to the head during the third term.
Major goal kickers for Port Melbourne included Connors, Rowe, Pleming and Johnson all with three while for the Roosters Curnow led the way also with three. The Borough had winners on every line with J.J.Liston Trophy fancy Pinwell (28 disposals), Magner (27), Damian Mascitti down back (31), Cain (28) and Valenti (27) outstanding.
It was harder to find better players for the Roosters however. Defender Tony Lockyer (20) battled against the odds, Curnow with his three goals, Dumont with a game-high 33 disposals and utility Andrew Boseley all tried hard.
Port Melbourne now takes on the Box Hill Hawks back at North Port Oval in a qualifying final with a week off the reward for the winner. North Ballarat must re-group before meeting fellow AFL North Melbourne affiliate, the Werribee Tigers, in an elimination final also at North Port Oval.