League Match Report: Panthers top of the ladder after win at Alberton
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League Match Report
South Adelaide @ Port Adelaide
Round 2 - Alberton Oval - 06/04/19
Goals: Whittlesea 5, Cross, Heaslip, Cailotto 2, Schwarz, Noble, Liddle
Best: Cross, Whittlesea, Summerton, Rose, Schwarz, Noble
Injuries: Overall (groin)
South Adelaide have continued their strong start to the season with a six-goal over Port Adelaide at Alberton on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers controlled proceedings for most of the afternoon and used an unanswered stretch of six goals at the start of the third term to push their way to a 14.10 (94) to 8.10 (58) win away from home.
Co-captain Joel Cross again led from the front despite some heavy attention from the Magpies throughout the game.
Cross racked up 24 touches and six clearances to go with two major scores - one an impressive roost from 55m towards the Magpies cheer squad end.
South unfortunately lost spearhead Sam Overall to a groin injury within minutes of the first bounce. His injury was not described as serious, but team medicos took no chances and put the big forward on ice for the remainder of the afternoon.
Overall's absence inside 50 opened room for another Panthers forward to stand up and Tom Whittlesea did just that with a game-breaking five-goal performance
The Panthers started the more lively of the two sides, with the majority of the play in the opening minutes played in their forward half.
After a few empty ventures it would be defender-come-forward Alex Cailotto that got the Panthers on the board with a strong mark and set shot.
Minutes later Cross added his first as he played on from a mark in the pocket. However, Port soon reeled back the lead with goals to AFL-listed pair Billy Frampton and Cameron Hewett.
South continued to control meaningful possession, with a fast start to Nic Schwarz (17 touches, seven tackles and a goal) and Mark Noble (20 touches and a goal) particularly catching the eye.
After Noble kicked truly deep into time on South took a ten-point advantage into the first break.
Port were also dealt early injury blows with skipper Cam Sutcliffe (hamstring) and Aidyn Johnson (concussion) hitting the showers early.
However, it did not hinder Port chances after the restart, with two goals in two minutes from the classy Kane Farrell giving the Magpies their first lead of the afternoon in the blink of an eye.
Fortunately for the Panthers faithful, skipper Cross responded with a long range bomb to restore his side's lead and Whittlesea's first pushed the difference back to two kicks.
South Adelaide's defence was doing an excellent job of nullifying the Magpies fire power, with Jake Summerton standing tall against the task of manning Todd Marshall and holding him goalless.
Not to be outdone by his fellow captain, Matt Rose also provided plenty of run out of defence, racking up a team-high 27-touches and seven rebound 50s. Most impressively he found most of his footy in the final term with both sides out on their legs with no interchanges remaining.
The third term was all Panthers as the visitors kicked six unanswered goals to establish a 46-point buffer by the 15 minute mark.
Ben Heaslip added two major scores, one dribbling home from long distance and the other a coolly converted set shot much to the chagrin of some vocal supporters in the lawn bowls pocket.
Schwarz and Cailotto also got in on the goal party, while Whittlesea continued to tear the Magpies defence apart with two more for the term before adding two more in the final frame.
The win pushes the Panthers clear atop the SANFL Statewide Super League ladder thanks to their superior percentage over Norwood.
It also sets up an intriguing match up with Glenelg this weekend, who sit third on the table after dismantling Adelaide on Friday night.
Make sure to get out to ACH Group Stadium (Glenelg) next Saturday (1.10pm, Saturday, April 13) to cheer the Panthers on and celebrate Brad Crabb's 200th and Tyson Brown's 50th games for the club.
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