And fortunately ABCTV managed to show the entire match with player interviews given it was pushing its deadline finish. It should have been a ratings bonanza for the network and the pending result had to be much more important than what was coming up next on its broadcast.
Port Melbourne were the victors again but not without a solid fight from Sandringham, who threw everything at the Borough yesterday at North Port Oval.
While Port were the front runners for much of the match, the Zebras hit back hard in the final term and after a goal to Tom Curren on the run, they reduced the margin to just four points early on.
Curren was influential for the match given that he tagged Shane Valenti out of the match, while Tom Simpkin kept Dean Galea to three goals and restricted his influence for most of the match until the end. Galea took two strong and crucial marks in the final term. One resulted in a goal to Wayde Skipper who lunged and kicked an opportunist goal to give Port the edge.
And the other, whom he received from a drilled pass from Jake Dermott, he missed a set shot that would’ve sealed the match earlier.
The sealer came when Cameron Shenton made a pivotal mistake kicking the ball out on the full and Port’s Clayton Hinkley made him pay with a ripper from the boundary line.
It had sunk the hearts of the Zebras who were gallant in defeat and so close to registering a season-defining win. Ultimately, they fall to fifth position and may well fall further if Geelong defeats Coburg today.
It will lead us to another blockbuster at Casey Fields next week when the second-placed Scorpions, hoping to rebound from defeat against Werribee, take on ladder leaders Port Melbourne.