Southport has held on for a nail-biting three-point triumph over a gallant Redland in a high-scoring, see-sawing affair at Scottsdale Park on Saturday.
The margin never grew beyond 15 points for the entire match, with time ultimately cutting short a late Redland surge as the Sharks came out on top 16.9 (105) to 15.12 (102).
Momentum swings were aplenty in the goal-fest as the lead changed 10 times throughout the game in a highly entertaining battle.
Redland should have been further in front at quarter-time but the inaccurate goalkicking which has plagued its 2019 campaign was again an issue, with the Bombers kicking 4.4 to 4.0 in the first term.
With the first goal of the second term going to NEAFL leading goalkicker Matt Hammelmann, Redland opened up a nine-point lead only for Southport to hit back with the next three.
But the Bombers responded to take a two-point lead into the main break as the two sides shared 10 goals between them for the term.
It was Southport’s turn to take control in the third when they came out firing with the first three goals, but against Redland hit back to cut the margin to a solitary point at three-quarter time.
The last quarter was chaos. The score was levelled twice in the first nine minutes with a goal to either side.
Redland moved to seven points in front when Mitch Stallard snapped a major at the 14-minute mark to lift the passionate home crowd to its feet.
But the Sharks made an immediate response and turned the match on its head with a dominant eight-minute patch which yielded 3.4 to Redland’s 0.4.
A goal to Michael Manteit from close range at the 24-minute mark meant Southport were 15 points clear and seemed to have the result in the bag.
However, Redland weren’t done yet. Back-to-back majors from livewire Aaron Christensen in the space of a minute suddenly got them within a kick.
The final siren sounded to break the Bombers’ hearts and usher a sigh of relief to the Sharks as they held on to second spot on the ladder with the win.
The respective captains from both sides were outstanding all day. Andrew Boston was key to Southport’s victory with 34 disposals, nine clearances, five inside 50s and eight rebound 50s.
On the other side of the ledger, Redland’s Hayden Bertoli-Simmonds was his side’s best player with 30 disposals, seven marks and five rebound 50s.
Hammelmann booted three to extend his lead in the NEAFL goalkicking race, with Josh Hall and Manteit booting four each for Southport.
Redland heads to Alice Springs next week to take on NT Thunder, and Southport travels to the nation’s capital to take on Canberra.
Redland Bombers v Southport Sharks at Scottsdale Park
SOUTHPORT 4.0 9.4 12.5 16.9 (105)
REDLAND 4.4 9.6 11.10 15.12 (102)
GOALS – Southport: J Hall 4 T Fields 4 C Ford 2 T Stubbs
2 M Johnson J Lyons M Manteit J Mentha. Redland: M Hammelmann 3 A Christensen
2 P Yagmoor 2 C Cameron S Cormick J Currie C Franks S Miller B Reville M Stallard
BEST – Southport: A Boston J Hall T Fields C Ford T Roos T Miller. Redland: H Bertoli-Simmonds P Yagmoor C Malone A Williams S Miller B Reville.
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