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Showdown lowdown: Five of the best

Football

Ahead of perhaps the most keenly-anticipated Showdown for 20 years - first playing second on the AFL ladder, two decades since the sides first met - Steve Larkin looks back on some of the most memorable clashes between Port Adelaide and the Crows.

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Showdown #39: July 19, 2015: Adelaide 18.8 (116) bt Port Adelaide 17.11 (113).

The closest Showdown came 16 days after Phil Walsh was killed by his son. Walsh was in his first year as Crows coach after a lengthy stint as a Port assistant. Adelaide appeared home before a record Adelaide Oval crowd (53,518 spectators) and led by five goals at three quarter-time. But Port launched a thrilling comeback only to fall just short.


Showdown #1: April 20, 1997: Port Adelaide 11.17 (83) bt Adelaide 11.6 (72).

The build-up to the first meeting was intense, and the opening seconds of the match lived up to the furious hype, punctuated by an infamous punch-up between Crow Rod Jamieson and Port’s Scott Cummings.

Port, in their initial AFL season, weren’t expected to get near the more seasoned Crows but comfortably prevailed despite Adelaide pin-up Tony Modra booting seven goals.


Showdown #11: April 27, 2002: Port Adelaide 14.6 (90) bt Adelaide 12.10 (82).

A hard-fought encounter, on and off the field. The night after Port’s narrow win, players from both sides were at the same beachside pub – and ended up in an all-in brawl between at least 20 players. The fight was triggered by Port’s Josh Carr and Adelaide’s hard-man Mark Ricciuto. Players from both sides were fined by their clubs.


Showdown #19: September 10, 2005: Adelaide 18.15 (123) bt Port 5.10 (40).

The only final between the clubs, a knockout semi-final. Port antagonist Chad Cornes fuelled a fire by describing the match as his “dream final”. But it turned into his nightmare with the Crows recording the biggest winning Showdown margin and knocking Port out of the finals.


Showdown #35: August 4, 2013: Port Adelaide 17.5 (107) bt Adelaide 15.13 (103).

The Crows held a 20-point lead some 22 minutes into the last quarter. But Port produced a stunning comeback with four goals in the last eight minutes, including two in the last 90 seconds – the first an Angus Monfries hail Mary from 50m which was headed for a point before bouncing at near right-angles through for a goal, followed by Chad Wingard’s last-gasp match-winner.

SHOWDOWN TRIVIA

* Head-to-head: Played 41. Port Adelaide 21 wins, Adelaide 20 wins

* Of the 41 games, 20 have been won by less than 20 points. And 12 have been won by less than 10 points

* Most Showdown medals (for best-afield, awarded since 2000): 3 – Mark Ricciuto (A), Josh Francou (PA); 2 – Simon Goodwin (A), Robbie Gray (PA), Sam Jacobs (A)

-AAP

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