Modest WDFNL midfielder a constant in roller-coaster interleague game

THERE were few constants on the football field at Central Reserve on Saturday. The performance of Alister Porter was one.

Alister Porter: best.

Alister Porter: best.

Porter was a clear best afield in Warrnambool and District’s 14.7 (91) to 12.12 (84) interleague triumph against Colac and District.

The silky-skilled Merrivale footballer was prolific in the midfield when the visitors rushed to an early lead and then calm when the expected Colac and District resurgence came.

But the wingman was at his damaging best during a remarkable 6.4 to 0.6 final quarter as his side came from 27 points down to win.

His three goals, particularly the last when he weaved through traffic and converted from 40 metres in the last term, and efforts all day will go down in league folklore.

But ask the man and he’d say he was typical of the rest of his side: solid early, missing through the middle two quarters and solid late.

“I was in and out,” he said. “The first quarter was good but as the team fell away, I fell away. We charged home at the end,” he said.

“We were always buzzing. Even at half-time we were still up and about, it was good. Tocka (Simon O’Keefe) made sure of that.”

Porter, 25, said the win ranked among his best football highlights.

“It’s close. It’s up there, it’s very close,” he said.

He believed sticking to the team plan devised by O’Keefe was the catalyst of the last-quarter fightback.

“We just got it in deep, played predictable football. Get it in long, deep and let the crumbers do the rest.”

Porter was one of two Merrivale footballers with reasons to celebrate. Tigers teammate Josh Sobey was also beaming post-match.

Sobey and partner Elisha Carter had welcomed daugher Ivy Mae into the world less 48 hours earlier, with mum giving dad the green light to play.

“It’s been pretty exciting. I’m overwhelmed with the support from everyone. For Elisha to give me the all clear to play was good,” he said.

“(Playing) was in the air but we knew from the start of the week we were going in Thursday and it’d happen on Thursday. There were no dramas.”

Porter, four-goal hero Chris Keilar and the midfield finished with more disposals than Sobey, but the regular onballer was just as vital.

He gave a good account of himself against Ben Cox in the last term, despite being drastically undersized compared with the dangerous South Colac forward.

“It was a good opportunity. I’ve got to thank Tocka and the boys for giving me a chance to play,” he said.

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