Port Melbourne has jumped to the top of the table after a 23-point win over the Northern Blues in round 12 of the VFL at a chilly Preston City Oval. The Borough was out of the blocks quickly booting four goals to the Blues one in the first quarter and was never headed eventually winning 13.8.86 to 9.9.63.
Chris Cain and former North Melbourne and Richmond small forward, Robin Nahas, each booted three for the winners while Andrew Gallucci and Luke Russell both kicked two for the Blues. It was the Blue’s fourth loss in-a-row following a strong start to the season and they now sit just inside the top eight.
It was also the second time this season that Port Melbourne has defeated the Blues. A Gallucci goal midway through the second quarter had reduced the Borough’s lead to just seven points but the visitors responded with the next three, two of them to Cain, to stretch the margin back out to 25 points.
Patrick Kerr replied for the Blues before a fine snap from Thomas O’Sullivan, deep in the pocket at the Preston markets end, made the difference 26 points at the main break. The third term was a scrappy affair as neither side was able to gain any momentum.
The Blue’s Liam Sumner with the only goal for the quarter and the margin was down to 21 points at the final change. A Blaine Boekhorst goal within a minute following the restart had the home team within 15 points and the Borough faithful on the terraces were getting nervous.
However they weren’t nervous for long as Port kicked the next four goals of the match; the last of them to Nahas, his third, to put the margin out beyond six goals and effectively sealing the game. Goals to Harry McKay and Russell late in the game for the Blues reduced the margin but it was Port coming out on top, the win dislodging the Box Hill Hawks from top spot on the ladder.
Port’s best included O’Sullivan (31 disposals) and former Blue, Dillon Viojo-Rainbow (21, 6 marks), while Lucas Cook, celebrating his 100th VFL game was solid in defence with 19 disposals and eight marks along with Eli Templeton who gathered 30 possessions through the midfield. For the Northern Blues Cameron O’Shea (22 disposals) down back tried hard as did Russell (20), Boekhorst (36 game-high) Tom Wilson (23) and former Geelong player Billy Smedts (22) were among their contributors.
Port Melbourne will be hoping to cement their spot on top of the ladder hosting an out of sorts Sandringham in round thirteen while the Blues face a tough encounter with old rival Essendon at Windy Hill.
For match details click here