It was an engaging first half for the supporters at Carnegie Reserve with both Pirates and Western Strikers going shot for shot in a full flowing affair.
It was Western Strikers who struck the first blow, however, inside 10 minutes when Pirates failed to deal with an in-swinging corner and eventually saw the ball poked home by Haris Vuckic.
Immediately, though, Pirates began to grow into the game and set up a number of opportunities to level the score, most notably when Jimmy Murray played in Nick Davis yet the latter dragged his shot wide. Another chance went begging for the Pirates when Patrick De Silva’s dangerous low cross couldn’t be diverted towards goal by the onrushing forwards. Seeing those vital opportunities go to waste went on to hurt Port as they gave up a second goal from another set piece. This time it was a direct free kick from Atkinson which young goalkeeper Finn Murphy could do nothing about.
Perhaps the worst thing Pirates could do was to concede straight after half time, yet, that’s exactly what happened from yet another set piece delivery which allowed Lastella to head home unchallenged and ultimately put the game out of reach for Port Adelaide.
Although Pirates fought valiantly, they were unable to regain the rhythm they found in the first half and went down 3-0 at the hands of their nearest neighbours.