Port Adelaide takes down Geelong to earn home preliminary final

Port Adelaide is just one win away from qualifying for its first grand final in 13 years following a 16-point win over Geelong.

The Power won the opening qualifying final 9.4 (58) to 5.12 (42) at Adelaide Oval to earn a week off before they play for a spot in what would be their first season decider since 2007.

They will host a home preliminary final in a fortnight’s time, while the Cats now move into sudden-death mode.

A semi-final awaits Chris Scott’s squad against the winner of Saturday night’s elimination final between West Coast and Collingwood.

The Cats had given themselves a hope of victory when they trailed by only seven points early in the final quarter following a Rhys Stanley booted a goal.

But the Power replied almost immediately with a Peter Ladhams major, before Todd Marshall added the home side’s ninth goal of the evening to extinguish any chance the Cats had of winning.

Ex-Cat Steven Motlop tormented his former side, as the Power banked their first finals win since 2014.

Motlop booted goals with his initial three kicks, while fellow forward Brad Ebert kicked two majors in a brutal final, which the Power cracked open in the third term.

After leading by one-point at half-time, the Power slotted three goals in a match-defining 15-minute burst, the spree creating a 19-point advantage.

The Power were superbly served by a ball-winning core of Ollie Wines (24 disposals), Travis Boak (22), Tom Rockliff (22), Robbie Gray (17), Ebert (16) and Hamish Hartlett (15).

The victory did come at a cost, however, with winger Xavier Duursma knocked out and Marshall hurting a shoulder.

Geelong’s Coleman medallist Tom Hawkins was goalless and wayward, kicking 0.5, while Stanley finished with two majors.

Cat Brandan Parfitt (16 disposals) was influential, and 2016 Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield (22 disposals, one goal) and Mitch Duncan (19 disposals) had patches of prominence.

But their feats were not enough to stop the Cats sliding to a 12th loss from their past 16 finals.

The Power held a three point quarter-time lead before a bewildering second term.

Hawkins’s radar went astray, as he missed one set shot and rushed another with a left-footer across his body, which also missed.

Some bizarre umpiring decisions confused both teams and the quarter ended with Ebert slipping over yet still taking a mark and converting on the siren.

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Moments later Scott seemed to have terse words with the match officials as they left the field, however he later said he was asking them a question and was shouting because there was a lot of noise out on the field.

The Power held a one-point buffer at half-time, 4.2 to 3.7, before making their third-term charge.

AAP/ABC