Port’s status as the dark horse heading into this season’s finals series was further justified when they pushed South in a tough encounter on Sunday.
Despite giving it their all, Port were still unable to knock the undefeated South side off, who came away with a 36-point win.
The first quarter was a slog for both sides, with only three goals scored.
South didn’t take advantage of the scoring opportunities they had, whereas Port did, kicking two goals from their three shots.
After a low scoring first term, things really picked up in the second, which started with three early goals to the home side.
The inclusion of Daniel Dohnt paid off when he goaled the first of the quarter, before Vinny Urbancic and Tom Hamilton followed suit.
Then, the two teams went back-and-forth, as neither side could get a run on, before Port’s Brett Woodards bobbed up to kick two late majors.
Matt Downey was influential yet again, but Port’s midfielders were still able to get their share of the ball and only found themselves five points behind at the main break.
The third quarter was another low-scoring one, as neither side could get any kind of score on the board for the first 14 minutes.
This was until Corey Grove bagged his third for the game to stunningly put Port in front.
The intensity lifted as South’s undefeated run was under threat.
However, it was South who responded, with Kahran McKenzie and Lionel Brown kicking goals in the last four minutes of the quarter.
The visitors needed to hit the scoreboard quickly in the final term to overturn a 13-point deficit, but they couldn’t handle the South pressure and were only able to kick two points.
Brown and McKenzie combined for the only three goals of the quarter, as South ran out 36-point winners.
The on-ballers in Jesse Vivar, Adam Coe, and Zac Hutchinson were brilliant for Port and were the main reason why they kept up with their Bulldog counterparts.
For South, Matt Downey hardly lost a ruck tap all day, while defenders Caleb Ritter and Greg Shirley were prominent.
The reigning premiers will finish the regular season undefeated if they can secure a win against rivals Central Augusta next weekend.