Miracle man Patrick Dangerfield has conjured a late moment of magic to lift Geelong to a heart-stopping two-point AFL victory over Port Adelaide at Kardinia Park.
In a tense and tight encounter where the margin never got beyond 12 points for either side, it was the 2016 Brownlow medallist who had the final say.
With less than two minutes remaining and the home team two points in arrears, skipper Joel Selwood’s scrappy kick from a stoppage fell to Dangerfield, whose instinctive left-footed kick flew through for a goal from a tight angle.
The Power had one last chance to snatch victory, but defender Tom Stewart snuffed out the danger by preventing the dangerous Robbie Gray from taking a mark when well within scoring range.
The Power will also rue a controversial umpiring decision in the fourth quarter when big forward Charlie Dixon was ruled to have taken too long over a set shot for goal and was forced to play on.
The 11.15 (81) to 11.13 (79) victory improved the Cats’ win-loss record to 7-3.
Dangerfield and Gray ended the night with three goals apiece, making them the only multiple goalscorers on the ground.
The opening quarter was a contrast between Port’s efficiency and the home team’s wastefulness.
The Power were able to convert a meagre eight inside-50s into three goals, while the Cats could only manage one major from their 18 forward-50 entries as they trailed by eight points at the first break.
Dixon lifted the intensity in the opening minute of the second term with a crunching bump on Selwood, which appeared to be hard but fair.
Dangerfield burst to life in the second quarter, kicking two goals and setting up another one for Tom Hawkins.
The arm wrestle continued throughout the second half on a night when Geelong also celebrated the 10th anniversary of their drought-breaking 2007 flag.
Gary Ablett was the only member of the 2007 premiership team not at the ground on Thursday night.
The Gold Coast star will miss Saturday’s match against Melbourne in Alice Springs with a shoulder complaint, but still chose not to make the trip to Geelong to join in the festivities.