Ports win Eastern Eyre A grade football premiership after tough win against Kimba Districts

DELIGHT: Ports celebrate their Eastern Eyre A grade football grand final success against Kimba Districts on Saturday. Back: Trainer Kerry Smith, Ayden Smith, Lenny McDonough, Tom Laas, Seth Hutchins, Tom Masters, Cooper Llewelyn, Declan Smith, Evan Hunt, Todd Hoffman, Sidney Masters, Jake Bammann, Caleb Prime, Ashley Masters, Brad Hannemann, assistant coach Kalvy Hartwig, runner Trevor McDonough, trainer Samara Turner; front: team manager Ben Masters, Scott Masters, Tom Davey, Aseri Raikiwasa, Alec Bryce, Karl Pfitzner, Ben Lienert and Max Fauser. Photo: Facebook, Eastern Eyre Football League
DELIGHT: Ports celebrate their Eastern Eyre A grade football grand final success against Kimba Districts on Saturday. Back: Trainer Kerry Smith, Ayden Smith, Lenny McDonough, Tom Laas, Seth Hutchins, Tom Masters, Cooper Llewelyn, Declan Smith, Evan Hunt, Todd Hoffman, Sidney Masters, Jake Bammann, Caleb Prime, Ashley Masters, Brad Hannemann, assistant coach Kalvy Hartwig, runner Trevor McDonough, trainer Samara Turner; front: team manager Ben Masters, Scott Masters, Tom Davey, Aseri Raikiwasa, Alec Bryce, Karl Pfitzner, Ben Lienert and Max Fauser. Photo: Facebook, Eastern Eyre Football League

A stunning grand final performance saw Ports upset favourites Kimba Districts to win the 2021 Eastern Eyre A grade football premiership at Cleve on Saturday.

Ports led throughout a memorable grand final to triumph by eight points with a 9.9 (63) to 8.7 (55) result.

Just as they did in the preliminary final in beating Eastern Ranges, Ports - who finished the regular season in third position - toppled the big guns as the Tigers fell at the final hurdle after losing just twice during the campaign.

It was Ports' only victory in three meetings with Kimba in 2021.

They got the jump through a Sid Masters major, and while Kevin Dart responded it was Ports ahead by 12 points at the first break as Ashley Masters and then Sid Masters - this time a long bomb from the pocket - kicked truly.

Joel Fitzgerald gave the Tigers the start they wanted with an early second-quarter goal, as the teams went goal-for-goal in an entertaining term.

Thomas Laas ran through to restore Ports' advantage, before three set shots at goal from Kimba's James Cant and Matthew Vandeleur either side of another Sid Masters belter from the pocket, had Ports ahead by five points at half-time.

Alec Bryce was on target less than a minute into the third term to push Ports two goals clear, but the ever-dangerous Fitzgerald reduced the margin with a set shot from distance.

Ports failed to capitalise on scoring opportunities - they kicked five behinds for the quarter - but found precious breathing room late in the term as Thomas Masters goaled after a Kimba error.

The teams were separated by 13 points at three-quarter time, which was reduced to seven when Fitzgerald kicked truly to open the fourth term.

Ports had kept ahead all day and extended the lead again when Laas added another, and they were almost home.

Fitzgerald kept the Tigers in the hunt only for the Ports' supporters to roar with delight as Jake Bammann picked up the loose ball to finish proceedings.

Despite Fitzgerald converting his fifth of the afternoon, there was not enough time to turn the score around as Ports celebrated a premiership triumph.

Bryce was named the best on ground and he had support from Aseri Raikiwasa and Bradley Hannemann, while Kimba players Dion Woolford, Cant and Samuel Haskett played well.

Ports made it a double in the B grade as they defeated Eastern Ranges by 12 points.

The Magpies led in the first term and did not relinquish that advantage on their way to a 5.7 (37) to 4.1 (25) result.

Bradley Hitch kicked two goals for Ports on their way to the trophy, with Joel Nield responding for Ranges.

Brad Wake was named best on ground.

In the senior colts, Eastern Ranges got the better of Ports 16.8 (104) to 4.3 (27), while the junior colts grand final saw Eastern Ranges defeat Kimba Districts 7.9 (51) to 2.1 (13).