Patton marshals Giants to gritty win over Power
AN equal career-best six goals from Jonathon Patton has carried the Giants to a hard-fought 31-point win over Port Adelaide and a spot in the top four.
On the same venue he suffered the first ACL tear of his career, this time Patton left Canberra in triumph.
It was just his second match of the year after missing round two with a hip injury and playing round three in the NEAFL, but he was back in a big way kicking all his goals after quarter time and two critical ones in the final term.
"There is so much more improvement in Jon," Giants coach Leon Cameron said.
"I'm really looking forward to Jon building on that game, not everything is going to go his way. He's made a lot of progress after significant injury but there is a lot of improvement to come."
He was ably supported by All-Australian small forward Toby Green who booted four for the match including two critical ones in the last quarter.
The first came in the opening minutes to overcome a five-point three-quarter-time deficit and the second to extend the lead to 12 points midway through the term.
Veteran defender Heath Shaw also played a pivotal role after appearing to be out of action with a third quarter shin injury.
When he came down awkwardly after a third quarter marking contest with Port Adelaide's Sam Gray he looked gone for the night but returned to play in the forward pocket and had a hand in two of the critical goals.
Tom Scully continued his outstanding form with another high quality display picking up a game high 32 possessions including 11 contested.
It was the perfect celebration for his 100th game for the Giants (His 131st all up after playing 31 for Melbourne). His work rate was again enormous as he ran hard forward and back defensively.
"Every time we go to somebody to play a four quarter effort he says yeah I'll do it," Cameron said.
"For a midfielder to play 90 per cent of game time in this day and age is phenomenal. We're really proud that he leads the way for our young midfielders."
Josh Kelly was very solid picking up 30 disposals including nine contested.
Dylan Shiel impressed as well but looked to have suffered a shoulder injury late in the match which could see him in doubt for next week's Sydney Derby.
In defence Zak Williams continued his improvement cutting off attacking thrusts and launching the Giants into attack. However he had one kick which he would love to have back when he marked near the goal line but rushed his disposal and was cut off by Karl Amon who converted from close range.
While Steve Johnson wasn't in Canberra due to a knee injury he was certainly there in spirit with three of his team mates Jeremy Cameron, Jonathon Patton and Dylan Shiel all slotting deliberate shots for goal using the kick Johnson made famous, the J curve. The only one to miss was Rory Lobb whose fourth quarter effort narrowly went wide.
The Giants now take on the Swans at the SCG in a hugely anticipated Sydney Derby.
"It will be a ferocious clash," Cameron said.
"The Swans are 0-4 but quite clearly could be 2-2, we know that and the footy world knows that. We know what's coming next Saturday night and we look forward to it."