Port Adelaide have pulled off one of the upsets of this AFL season, beating premiers Hawthorn to most likely sabotage their top-two hopes.
Hawks captain Luke Hodge is also in trouble after Friday night’s 22-point loss for collecting Port star Chad Wingard high with a bump.
By contrast, the 16.12 (108) to 13.8 (86) win will also leave the Power even more frustrated about why such performances have been so rare in a season that started with such great expectations.
Hawthorn started this match half a game behind second-placed West Coast.
If the Eagles beat the Western Bulldogs at home on Sunday, they will have a game-and-a-half break with only two matches left.
It probably means Hawthorn will have to travel to Perth to play the Eagles in a qualifying final.
Three games after Richmond upset them, Port also exposed chinks in Hawthorn’s armour by denying them the football and owning the corridor.
Oddly, despite Port’s underwhelming form, it is the second time this season they have beaten Hawthorn.
Hodge will come under match review panel scrutiny for collecting Wingard high with a bump with tempers flaring early in the third term.
Wingard’s head then also hit the point post, but he kicked two goals soon after.
While Hawthorn never led, they only trailed by a point at three-quarter time and it looked as though they might overrun the Power.
Instead, Port kicked five goals to two in the last quarter to cap an outstanding match.
Midfielder Robbie Gray (33 possessions), Sam Gray (a game-high 34 possessions), ruckman Paddy Ryder and defender Jack Hombsch starred and Wingard added to his stellar season with four goals.
Port were on top early, leading by 14 points at quarter-time and taking a game-high lead of 24 points early in the second term.
The alarm bells were ringing loud for the premiers, who did not kick a goal from 11 minutes in the first quarter until 14 minutes into the third.
The Hawks managed to steady, reducing the lead to 11 points late in the second term.
But Hawthorn defender Brian Lake had one of his notorious brain fades, conceding a silly 50m penalty and gifting Jay Schulz a goal.
The Hawks managed to negate that with the last goal of the half.
Wingard’s second goal after the Hodge bump put Port 23 points ahead and again the Hawks looked out of sorts.
But Port could not land the killer blow, giving the ball back to Hawthorn and missing crucial shots on goal as often as the Hawks let themselves down with poor disposal.
Hawthorn kicked five of the last six goals in the third term, but Port broke away in the last quarter.