Dragons hang on by skin of teeth

Yacht club run­ners not put off by weather con­di­tions

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

A SMALL squall pass­ing over Port on the week­end gave the first hand­i­cap yachts a windy head start against the sec­ond hand­i­cap in this year’s Two Is­land Sail and Run.

Or­gan­iser of the event and Port Dou­glas Yacht Club Com­modore Mick Gwilliams told the Gazette the race was suc­cess­ful with six yachts join­ing forces with six ath­letes for last week­end’s event.

“It was very good and we were very happy the turn out and re­sult,” Gwilliams said.

“The high­light for me was the amount of en­tries, there is a lot of po­ten­tial and we will cer­tainly do it again next year,” he said.

Out of the ath­letes who did race, Grant with yacht Ice, won the Low isles Lap tro­phy af­ter record­ing the fastest time around Low isles of 9 min­utes, 25 sec­onds.

Nick with yacht Ann Sea won the beach sprint tro­phy with a time of 15 min­utes, 17 sec­onds, win­ning him the cov­eted ti­tled of top ath­lete for the com­bined stages.

De­spite their best ef­forts, first to cross the fin­ish line was Chris­tian with yacht Magic, fol­lowed by Ju­lia with yacht Tau Ceti, third was Nick with Ann Sea, Grant with Ice, Dave with Port FM Mais Oui and Mel with Indigo.

Hand­i­cap win­ners in the first divi­sion was Magic, fol­lowed by Ann Sea and Ice, and sec­ond divi­sion win­ner was Tau Ceti, fol­lowed by Port FM Mais Oui and Indigo. THE Dou­glas Dragons left it late by scor­ing a win­ner in the 87th minute on Fri­day night away at James Cook Univer­sity to se­cure all three points in a match that could have seen ei­ther side win a feisty en­counter.

The Dragons strug­gled early on, play­ing into a strong northerly breeze and ad­just­ing to a new for­ma­tion.

JCU fielded a far stronger side than the Dragons en­coun­tered at home in the first round, and then played at a high tempo pres­sur­ing the Dragons into mak­ing too many mis­takes when in pos­ses­sion.

Al­though Gary Fitzger­ald didn’t have a lot of saves to make the Dragons strug­gled to get out of their half in the early stages.

How­ever when they did get out of their half they made JCU pay - Matty Smith was left with too much time and space on the right hand side. He knocked a fan­tas­tic cross for Ash­ley Woods to mark his re­turn to the side with a well-taken header at the far post that left their keeper with no chance.

With the breeze dy­ing out, the sec­ond half turned into a very even con­test with both sides cre­at­ing chances. Rod­ney Ras­mussen was un­lucky to have a fine header turned around the post af­ter a pin-point cross from Lo­gan Marsh at left back, and coach Nick Tither was guilty of be­ing waste­ful in front of goal from corners.

Af­ter 62 min­utes JCU made the Dragons pay. A cross from out wide wasn’t dealt with prop­erly and left their striker un­marked at the far post to poke home and make it one all. De­spite both sides cre­at­ing many chances they both failed to cap­i­talise with JCU com­ing clos­est to win­ning it only to have Mark Lee foil their at­tempt on the line.

With only three min­utes re­main­ing Matty Smith was brought down on the edge of the box when through on goal.

Up stepped cap­tain Marsh to bend the ball over the wall and into the net, send­ing the Dragons bench into rap­tures and tak­ing his goal tally to 10 for the sea­son.

With the Hmongs com­ing up this Fri­day night at Cas­sowary Park the Dragons were de­lighted to come away with three points but need to im­prove all over the park if they are to re­main com­pet­i­tive. Man of the Match was Jor­dan But­terss for a com­mand­ing per­for­mance at cen­tre half.

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