Southport has scraped home to win a thriller against Redland Bombers by six points in a drama-filled affair at Scottsdale Park on Sunday.
The margin never grew beyond 18 points as the Southport Sharks were tested to their limits by the plucky Bombers, coming from behind in the last term to win 7.15 (57) to 6.15 (51).
Southport burst out of the gates early, kicking the first three majors to race to an early lead.
But Redland hit back, cutting the margin to seven at the first change and hitting the front at the 26-minute mark of the second with a Matt Hammelmann major.
The Bombers carried a 10-point lead into three-quarter time with the only goal of the third, but they could not get the job done with some wasteful kicking in the last. Southport opened with the first two goals to Tom Fields and Trent Stubbs to bring the margin back to within a kick.
One of Redland's shots on goal from Boyd Bailey halfway through the last appeared to sail through, but upon umpire consultation was deemed a point as the contest remained on a knife's edge. The Bombers kicked 0.6 for the term as Southport hit the front a the 16-minute mark with Stubbs' fourth, with a run of five consecutive behinds from both sides closing out the match.
Defender Rhys Clark (19 disposals, five marks) was crucial for the Sharks, alongside Stubbs and Tyer Roos, who was the leading disposal winner on the ground with 31.
Adrian Williams, in his 100th club match, was sensational for Redland with 24 disposals, 12 marks and 10 rebound 50s in a best-on-ground performance.
Hammlmann booted three goals to take over top spot on the NEAFL goalkicking leaderboard, with captain Hayden Bertoli Simmonds and Peter Yagmoor among the Bombers best players on the day.
Southport will now turn its attention to Aspley next week, with Redland travelling to Darwin to take on NT Thunder in an AFL curtain raiser at TIO Stadium.
Southport: 3.3 4.7 4.11 7.15 (57)
Redland: 2.2 5.4 6.9 6.15 (51)
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