Port Melbourne has capped off a standout day in the annals of the club’s history with a resounding 80-point triumph over the North Ballarat Roosters at North Port Oval in round 7 on Saturday.
Following a formal luncheon and on-ground ceremony to unveil a plaque which signified the completion of the North Port Oval Redevelopment Project, the Borough side kept the positive vibes flowing right throughout the afternoon and were never troubled in securing their fifth win of the season.
The on-going wrist injury to James Magner was compounded by the late withdrawals of fellow key players Chris Cain, Khan Haretuku and Leigh Osborne; allowing for key forward Sebastian Henderson and midfielder Shannon Taylor to play their first senior games of 2015.
Captain Toby Pinwill had no hesitation in kicking with the aid of a moderate breeze towards the Williamstown Road end of the ground in the first quarter, and it paid immediate dividends as Port Melbourne slammed through a remarkable twelve goals to three.
Any supporter being kept updated with live scores would have been mistaken for thinking that the Borough had returned to the perennially windswept Burbank Oval in Williamstown with such a lopsided quarter-time score line.
But so it was that the wind was not as much of an advantage as Port Melbourne’s ability to exert superior ferocity and overwhelming numbers around the contest early on.
Although happy with how the game was panning out overall, Coach Gary Ayres was still demanding of his players to place an adequate amount of defensive pressure on the Roosters prior to kicking against the wind in the second quarter, as memories of the round 4 clash at Burbank Oval still lingered.
The players responded, however, as they managed to keep the Roosters to just two goals, whilst also booting two goals of their own to go in to the main interval with an unassailable 60-point buffer.
The third quarter saw the margin continue to extend, as Port Melbourne enjoyed a game-high 92-point lead at three-quarter time.
With the result beyond doubt, the game petered out in the final stanza and North Ballarat outscored Port to add some slight respectability to the final score, eventually closing the final margin to 80 points; 22.21.153 to 11.7.73.
Midfielder Nathan Batsanis continued his outstanding run of early-season form, amassing 42 possessions and a goal. Damian Mascitti and Tom O’Sullivan both also won plenty of the ball, whilst key defender Lucas Cook played his best game in red and blue colours up against his former club.
Henderson and Josh Scipione led a bevy of goal kickers with four each.
Earlier in the day, the Development League side continued their enigmatic patch of form, as they went down in a disappointing loss to Coburg by 42 points at Piranha Park.
Both sides will face huge tests next weekend, as they travel to face the high-flying Box Hill Hawks at Box City Oval in round 8.
The game will be broadcast live on Channel 7 from 12:00pm.
Port Melbourne 12.5 14.8 20.17 22.21 (153)
North Ballarat 3.1 5.2 7.3 11.7 (73)
S. Henderson 4, J. Scipione 4, H. Sandilands 3, B. Pearson 3, C. Johnston 2, L. Waddell 2, D. Mascitti 1, S. Taylor, T. O’Sullivan 1, N. Batsanis 1.
N. Batsanis, L. Cook, D. Mascitti, J. Scipione, T. O’Sullivan, W. Johnson.
Coburg 7.2 8.5 13.10 16.12 (108)
Port Melbourne 2.1 5.8 7.8 9.12 (66)
P. Jenkins 2, T. Gordon 1, J. McKenzie 1, J. Halsall 1, S. Lange 1, J. Healy 1, N. Prowse 1, A. Urban 1.
A. Urban, Z. Keogh, R. Hogan, N. Prowse, J. Halsall, P. Jenkins.
Photos courtesy of Jenny Tserkezidis.