White-hot Dockers too powerful for Port
Saturday August 24, 2013
Port Adelaide booked its spot in the finals despite suffering a 74-point defeat to Fremantle at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.
Dockers goalsneak Hayden Ballantyne and skipper Matthew Pavlich booted four goals apiece as the home side cruised toa 21.8 (134) to 9.6 (60) victory.
The loss was arguably Port Adelaide's worst effort of the year, but the Power had plenty of reasons to celebrate after the game as news filtered through that Essendon had upset Carlton in Saturday night's game at the MCG.
That result guaranteed Port Adelaide would finish in the top eight, even if it loses to ninth-placed Blues at AAMI Stadium next Saturday.
The finals berth under new coach Ken Hinkley caps a remarkable turnaround for the Power, who won just five games last year in a campaign that cost Matthew Primus his job.
Fremantle leapfrogged Sydney into third spot on the table following their fifth straight win.
But the Dockers need the Brisbane Lions to upset Geelong at Simonds Stadium next week if they are to nab second spot.
Fremantle defender Nick Suban is in danger of missing the start of the finals after injuring his right hamstring in the opening term.
Ballantyne entered the match under his own injury cloud after damaging his right shoulder against Melbourne the week before.
The 26-year-old didn't appear bothered in the opening half, booting three goals and causing all sorts of problems at ground level as the Dockers opened up a match-winning 55-point lead.
But it wasn't all smooth sailing for the little maestro, who sent a scare through the Dockers' camp in the third quarter when he grabbed his shoulder in pain after being tackled hard to the ground.
Ballantyne immediately went off for treatment, but he was given the green light to resume and kicked his fourth goal shortly after.
Michael Walters and Ballantyne combined for the first four goals of the match as the Dockers' frenzied pressure took its toll on the Power.
Ballantyne's pressure at ground level was simply brilliant, with Power defenders often forced to rush their disposal as the Dockers goalsneak closed them down.
Fremantle slammed through five unanswered goals during the second term, but Ballantyne's third major was a highly controversial one.
Ballantyne should have had little trouble as he ran onto a loose ball in the goal square after Walters punched it into his path.
But a wicked bounce saw the ball appear to evade Ballantyne's swinging boot, with the Docker hanging his head in apparent disappointment as the ball dribbled over the goal line.
However, the goal umpire awarded the goal without going to a review after deeming Ballantyne had made contact.
Fremantle: Ballantyne 4, Pavlich 4, Walters 3, Clarke 2, Sheridan 2, Crowley, Barlow, Hannath, Neale, Johnson, Sutcliffe
Port Adelaide: Neade, Wingard, Ebert, Schulz, Monfries, Mitchell, Young, Gray, Moore
Fremantle: Neale, Fyfe, Ballantyne, Mayne, Johnson, Mundy, Barlow, Walters
Port Adelaide: Gray, Cornes, Westhoff, Mitchell, Moore
Fremantle: Suban (hamstring)
Port Adelaide: Wingard (groin soreness)
Fremantle: Tom Sheridan replaced Nick Suban (hamstring) at quarter-time
Port Adelaide: Aaron Young replaced Chad Wingard the third quarter
Umpires: Margetts, Dalgliesh, McInerney
Official crowd: 35,565 at Patersons Stadium
Ballantyne named for clash with Port Adelaide
Thursday August 22, 2013
Dynamic Fremantle forward Hayden Ballantyne has been named to play against Port Adelaide in Saturday night’s member recognition game at Patersons Stadium.
Ballantyne had been in some doubt after sustaining a shpilder subluxation in last week’s win over Melbourne.
Freo made two changes for the clash against the eighth-placed Power, one forced after ruckman Aaron Sandilands hurt his cheekbone against the demons.
Young tall Jack Hannath comes into the team, as does hard running midfielder Cam Sutcliffe.
Defender Alex Silvagni was omitted and has been named a s an emergency with Hayden Crozier and Jesse Crichton.
Fremantle general manager of football Chris Bond said the club was confident Ballantyne would play.
“He’s got through training well this week and he’s been given the okay by the doctors,” he said.
Bond said Freo was confident Hannath would come in and play a role on Saturday.
“He’s played 10 games this year and we’ve been really pleased when he’s been able to come into the team and then he’s gone back and been able to play at Peel,” Bond said.
Bond said Sutcliffe’s running attributes could be important against a hard-running Port outfit.
“He’s very versatile, he’s been able to play in the midfield, and he’s been able to play back and forward as well,” he said.
“He’s got some really big strengths to his game and we’re going to need that against Port Adelaide.”
The football manager said the club had full confidence in Zac Clarke to lead the ruck in Sandilands’ absence.
“Zac’s had a really good year for us and he’s continuing to improve, and with Jack (Hannath) coming in as well, we think they can work really well together.”
| Fremantle Team Round 22
In: Hannath, Sutcliffe
Out: Sandilands (Cheek), Silvagni