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Port smash Carlton, eye top-two finish

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14th August, 2021
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Port Adelaide have set up a crack at a top-two finish, ruining Carlton great Marc Murphy’s 300-game AFL milestone with a 95-point drubbing.

The Power, after trailing by 23 points in the second quarter, prevailed 21.14 (140) to 5.15 (45) Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

Port jump from fourth to second spot and can seal a top-two finish by beating the fourth-placed Western Bulldogs next round.

But Carlton’s frightful fade-out could be a coach killer for David Teague: they scored just seven behinds from midway through the second term.

Carlton’s ex-captain Murphy entered retirement, chaired off by teammates and with players from both clubs forming a guard of honour.

Murphy and his teammates landed early blows: five-gamer Josh Honey’s two majors in two minutes put the Blues 23 points up 14 minutes into the second term.

Carlton didn’t score another goal.

The finals-bound Power reacted savagely to the second-term danger, booting six unanswered goals to take a 15-point advantage into halftime.

Port stretched their consecutive streak of goals to 19 after the break en route to a 16th win of the season.

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Former skipper Travis Boak, in his 303rd AFL match, was outstanding with 31 disposals and a goal while winger Karl Amon and Ollie Wines collected 30 touches apiece.

Port’s attack boasted numerous threats, headed by Todd Marshall (two goals) and Charlie Dixon (four goals).

Orazio Fantasia booted three majors, Robbie Gray, Miles Bergman and Mitch Georgiades slotted two each and another half-dozen Power players kicked goals.

Carlton’s prime mover Sam Walsh extended his fine season with 30 possessions while Matt Kennedy (28 touches, one goal) was prominent. 

The 34-year-old Murphy, only the sixth player to reach the 300-game mark for Carlton, farewelled AFL ranks with 24 disposals.

The Blues held sway by four points, 2.6 to 2.2, at quarter-time after catching the Power napping – the visitors had 31 more disposals for the term.

And after Honey’s rapid two strikes in the second stanza, Carlton’s 23-point lead silenced the home crowd.

But the Blues scored just seven more behinds for the rest of the match with Port amassing 19.11 in that period.

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