Legendary Erin Phillips couldn’t wipe the smile off her face after celebrating her 50th AFLW match, piloting her beloved Port Adelaide to a comprehensive, drought-breaking 66-point thumping of Sydney at Alberton Oval.
The Power’s 10.8 (68) to 0.2 (2) demolition job on Saturday was their first AFLW win and a fitting way for captain Phillips, the most decorated player in the competition’s history, to celebrate her milestone.
“This place is special to me and so many people in this community,” said Phillips, the daughter of Greg Phillips, an eight-time SANFL premiership-winning defender for the Port Magpies.
“My story is such a small part of this (club’s) 152-year history.
“It’s incredible, I’m just absolutely proud to be a part of it.
“Fifty games is awesome but the fact we get to wear this (Indigenous) guernsey in a special round and win in front of our fans is just unbelievable.
“I’ll be smiling for a while.”
Teenage jets Hannah Ewings (three goals, 19 disposals, eight tackles) and Abbey Dowrick (24 disposals, one goal, 14 tackles) had too much for the Swans;’ battered midfield to handle, after Phillips laid the early foundations.
Port dictated proceedings in wet, wintry conditions, owning a marked edge in first-term inside-50s (14-1) and moving ahead 3.3 to nil when Brittany Perry goaled on the quarter-time siren.
Sydney were consistently second to the football – and when they did manage to get hold of it, they overused it by hand.
The heavens finally cleared in the third stanza and Port ran riot with a five-goal term.
Kate Surman snapped truly from a no-look Phillips handball, before emerging 18-year-old star Ewings, who missed her first four attempts at goal in her career, made her first six-pointer one to remember, bombing spectacularly from outside 50.
A minute later, fellow teenager Dowrick bounced one home from almost 60m, before Ewings converted a free kick on the three-quarter-time bell to put rampant Port in front by 52 points.
Ewings nailed her third in the opening seconds of the fourth, before Perry iced it by jagging her second, set up by Phillips, who finished with eight score involvements and five assists in a milestone match to savour.
Young gun Montana Ham was easily Sydney’s best player, racking up 20 touches in a promising return from injury.