Port end AFL season with win over Suns

Port Adelaide have ended their season on a high after grinding out a 23-point victory over Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium.

Port looked on track to win in a canter on Saturday night and led by 39 points early in the third quarter, but the plucky Suns responded and eventually fell 13.11 (89) to 9.12 (66).

Led by Robbie Gray (four goals, 34 disposals) and backed up by off-contract forward Jay Schulz (three goals), the Power scored their 10th win of the season.

The Suns held the early ascendency but should have enjoyed a larger advantage, with Sam Day missing three set shots at goal in the first term.

Schulz kicked Port into the lead late in the first quarter and nailed his second major during a three-goal Power blitz during the second stanza.

The Suns struck back through Brandon Matera only for Port Adelaide to respond again via Sam Gray in another wasteful quarter dominated by missed shots at goal.

Tom Lynch had two easy misses as the Power went into the main break leading by 21 points.

Robbie Gray’s second and third goals bookended another simple missed shot from Lynch and a third goal to Schulz took Port out to a 39-point lead at the seven-minute mark of the third quarter.

Back-to-back goals gave the Suns some momentum until Gray popped up again to boot his third major of the third term.

The Suns continued to toil away and were rewarded with three consecutive goals to bring the margin back to 15 points late in the quarter as the Power switched off.

Port Adelaide were desperate for a settling goal and found one three minutes into the final quarter through Jarman Impey.

However, they were unable to stretch their lead beyond three goals until Brad Ebert kicked a major with five minutes remaining.

Robbie Gray, named best on ground, was pleased with how Port Adelaide responded after a lacklustre third quarter.

“We definitely wanted to come away with the win and they challenged us in the third quarter so we had to pick up our game a little bit,” he said.

“Full credit to the Gold Coast, though. They had a dig and made it a hard-fought game.”

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