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From Port Phillip Melbourne Weekly
Reported by Daniel Paproth
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PORT Melbourne battled through to the VFL preliminary finals with a 22-point qualifying final win over Geelong on Sunday.

The match, played in glorious Spring sunshine at North Port Oval, lived up to expectations as the two highly rated teams put on a brilliant display of football in one of the best games of the season.

But Borough's victory by 20.12 (132) to 16.14 (110) did not come easily, as Gary Ayres' team had to fend off an intense final-quarter comeback by the Cats.

Geelong made the better start, kicking the first goal in the opening minute but Port hit back quickly as play oscillated between the two 50m arcs.

The woman behind Port's mean defence

From the Port Phillip Melbourne Weekly
Reported by Daniel Paproth
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THE 1371 points kicked against Port Melbourne in the VFL's home-and-away season was the fewest in the competition.

And much of the credit for that miserly defence goes to assistant coach Peta Searle.

When she came on board late last year, beating male applicants for the role, she entered uncharted territory - no woman had ever coached at VFL level before.

Not that Searle has been too concerned with that feat.

"Coaching at any level is a

challenge," she says. "At the end of the day football is football, no matter where you're at."

Baird heads Borough's chances

From The Sunday Age
Reported by Brent Diamond
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VETERAN Port Melbourne skipper John Baird will be the backbone to its finals campaign against Geelong in a qualifying final today, then tomorrow night he is favoured to take out the prestigious J.J. Liston Trophy for the VFL's best and fairest.

If Baird wins the coveted award, he may have to fend off teammate Shane Valenti in the count; a proven vote getter who is a solid chance to create history for his third consecutive Liston after yet another consistent season.

The 2009 Liston winner, North Ballarat's Myles Sewell, is also tipped to finish high in the pecking order after a top season at the Roosters, lifting his name back into calculations for another shot at the AFL draft.

Advertisement Rarely does a footballer in the twilight of his career - in which he played 46 games at North Melbourne - dominate in such a way that Baird has this season.

From www.localfooty.com.au
Reported by Paul Amy
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IT had been a grind for Port Melbourne in previous weeks. On Saturday it was a gallop.

Led by another best-afield performance from John Baird, the Borough gave a splendid performance to defeat a Bendigo Gold team replete with Essendon players by 53 points at North Port Oval.

Surface water covered the ground, but Port made light of the slippery conditions to double up the visitors, 16.19 (106) to 8.5 (53).

Only two goals split the sides at half-time, but the Borough kicked clear in the third quarter and in the end won comfortably, their most impressive effort for weeks.

From www.localfooty.com.au
Reported by Paul Amy
Full Story
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THE Port Melbourne players thought it was one of the best, one that would lodge in the memory.

They weren't talking about their thrilling three-point victory over Box Hill Hawks at North Port Oval on Saturday, but coach Gary Ayres' withering blast at three-quarter-time.

Not often has the former Hawthorn champion had cause to give his Boroughs an old-fashioned bake.

But after watching Port fiddle and diddle and surrender their lead in the third quarter, he quickly rounded up his men at the last change and gave them a sustained burst.