Port power down the Bombers in Marvel Stadium mauling

By Shayne Hope

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Zak Butters and Jeremy Finlayson played starring roles to help Port Adelaide hand Essendon their heaviest defeat of the AFL season in an 84-point thrashing.

A run of nine consecutive Power goals from late in the first quarter to early in the third put the contest to bed before the visitors ran away with a dominant 23.8 (146) to 9.8 (62) win at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

Zak Butters gets a kick away for the Power in their big win.

Zak Butters gets a kick away for the Power in their big win.Credit:Getty Images

It was the Bombers’ biggest loss under Ben Rutten and the most points they have conceded in a match during his two years as coach.

Butters was everywhere as he kicked a career-best three goals from 25 disposals to go with six clearances and 10 score involvements.

Finlayson had a huge influence in a ruck-forward role despite losing the hitouts to Sam Draper, finishing with two goals, 25 disposals, four clearances and 10 score involvements.

Mitch Georgiades responded to his week in the reserves with three goals, alongside fellow tall Todd Marshall, who kicked two after a week out under health and safety protocols.

Sam Powell-Pepper slotted a game-high four goals.

Jake Stringer comes in for plenty of attention.

Jake Stringer comes in for plenty of attention.Credit:Getty Images

Essendon midfielder Dylan Shiel (27 disposals, 12 clearances) won plenty of ball but the home side lacked players capable of taking control.

Mid-season recruit Massimo D’Ambrosio kicked the first two goals of his AFL career to keep the Bombers within eight points at quarter-time.

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But seven unanswered goals to Port Adelaide in the second term blew the margin out to 51 points by the main break as Butters, Powell-Pepper and Connor Rozee ran riot. The Power’s 12.2 (74) was their highest first-half tally of the season.

The Bombers went 45 minutes without a goal until Archie Perkins ended the drought with a long-range set shot midway through the third term.

Further goals to Peter Wright and Nick Hind trimmed a touch of fat off the margin before three-quarter-time, but the Power finished full of running and kicked nine last-quarter goals in the comprehensive win.

Port Adelaide will bring their season to a close with a Showdown against cross-town rivals Adelaide in round 23, while Essendon host finals-bound Richmond at the MCG.

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PORT ADELAIDE 5.0 12.2 14.6 23.8 (146)
ESSENDON 3.4 3.5 6.5 9.8 (62)

GOALS
Port Adelaide: Powell-Pepper 4, Georgiades 3, Butters 3,
Marshall 2, Finlayson 2, McEntee 2, Dixon, Boak, Amon, Houston, Rozee, Bergman, Drew.
Essendon: Perkins 2, D’Ambrosio 2, Hind, Martin, Wright, Parish, Langford.
BEST
Port Adelaide: Wines, Houston, Powell-Pepper, Butters.
Essendon: Ridley, Shiel, McGrath, Parish.
CROWD 20,568 at Marvel Stadium.

AAP

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