Port hold off Magpies for precious win

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    Port Adelaide have held off a spirited Collingwood for a precious 27-point victory to move within striking range of the AFL’s top four.

    The sixth-placed Power are a win shy of fourth place after their 14.14 (98) to 10.11 (71) Sunday twilight triumph at Adelaide Oval.

    Collingwood’s finals prospects are officially over, an insurmountable 10 premiership points shy of eighth spot with two games remaining.

    Port’s vice-captain Ollie Wines will face scrutiny from the match review panel for a high bump on Tom Langdon.

    Wines’ upper arm hit the head of Langdon, who fortunately for the Power midfielder wasn’t hurt, in an error-riddled opening quarter.

    Wines was prominent in Port’s valuable win, collecting 29 disposals and kicking a goal while teammates Robbie Gray (two goals), Chad Wingard (32 disposals), Brad Ebert (28 possessions) and Jasper Pittard (26 disposals) were influential.

    Collingwood’s Adam Treloar and Taylor Adams were their side’s chief ball-winners, both with 31 touches, Ben Reid kicked four goals, and Steele Sidebottom (27 disposals) and Jack Crisp (27 possessions) were lively.

    Port, despite laying just two tackles in the first quarter, shaded the visitors early and held a 22-point halftime lead in a scrappy affair.

    And when the brilliant Gray slotted his second goal midway through the third quarter, the Power moved 34 points clear and were coasting.

    But the plucky Pies launched an unheralded fightback, booting four goals in a seven-minute spree to sneak to within eight points.

    Port responded to the crisis, scoring four of the next six goals to bank a 12th win of the season – the historical benchmark for reaching the finals.

    But the Power, with games against Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast to come, are only one win ahead of a chasing pack of three clubs.

    © AAP 2017

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