Crocs in­jury woes con­tinue to hurt

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

THE Port Dou­glas Crocs might have to beat the Lions on one leg this Satur­day af­ter suf­fer­ing sev­eral more in­juries in last week­end’s fade­out against Cen­trals.

Co-cap­tain Brad Lawlor and vice-cap­tain Mitch Ni­chol­son are both fac­ing up to six weeks on the side­lines with knee in­juries while wing Mark Nuggen, the side’s best player the pre­vi­ous week, faces a sim­i­lar stint off the field with a back in­jury suf­fered in the first 10 min­utes of the game.

Even coach Brad Cooper, pulling on the boots for the first time this sea­son to fill the in­jury void, strained his ham­string.

For the sec­ond week in a row the Crocs blew a five-goal half­time lead to sur­ren­der the game in the final quar­ter to go down 14.5.89 to 11.8.74.

Luke Serong booted a great ba­nana goal to open for the Crocs against Cen­trals and al­most im­me­di­ately Serong marked again to lob his sec­ond.

Kurt Brad­shaw was pro­vid­ing great early drive through the mid­field for the Crocs as the skill level lifted.

The Crocs made a great start to the sec­ond quar­ter when Ben Mccart­ney burst through the pack with brute strength and his long kick to Skip Grib­bon re­sulted in a goal.

Ben Her­bert was play­ing a good run­ning game off the full­back line and Kurt Brad­shaw con­tin­ued to be in­volved in ev­ery­thing sup­ported by Ro­han Han­ley.

Skip Grib­bon popped through a great goal and fol­lowed it by haul­ing in a screamer of a mark for an­other.

But a ten­ta­tive start to the third quar­ter by the Crocs let Cen­trals in for two quick goals. Bryce Wil­lis got one back for Port but then two more found the sticks for Cen­trals.

The all-im­por­tant final term opened with two goals to Cen­trals to tie the game as in­juries took a heavy toll on the Crocs who were down to 16 fit play­ers.

Cen­trals con­tin­ued to score goals as a be­lated goal to Cooper for the Crocs showed fight­ing spirit but Cen­trals were able to con­trol the play and take out the match.

Cooper said the heavy in­jury toll was some­thing all squads had to con­tend with at some stage dur­ing the sea­son and was con­fi­dent those re­serves picked for the top squad af­ter train­ing tonight could do the job.

“The big­gest pos­i­tive for the club at the mo­ment is the form of our re­serves, they’re play­ing good footy at the mo­ment and there are sev­eral who war­rant se­lec­tion,” he said.

“We played some good footy again on the week­end, we took more marks in our for­ward 50 and had more en­tries into our for­ward line.

“It’s just the skills er­rors which cost us, we need to fin­ish games stronger, be more ac­count­able de­fen­sively and get bet­ter ball use go­ing.”

In a one-sided re­serves game last Satur­day, to their great credit the Crocs pressed home their ad­van­tage, and teamed bril­liantly un­til the final siren.

Sec­ond gamer Chase Nandy put in an­other bril­liant per­for­mance for the Crocs, as did Ja­son Wilkie who booted 12 goals. Coach Dar­ren Wall has got his team off to a flyer.

SE­NIORS: Cen­trals 14-5-89 de­feated Port Dou­glas 11-8-74.

Best: K Brad­shaw, B Her­bert and R Han­ley.

Goals: S Grib­bon 3, K Freyling 2, L Serong 2, J Smith, B Wil­lis and B Lawlor.

RE­SERVES: Port Dou­glas 31-19205 de­feated Cen­trals 0-1-1.

Best: J Wilkie, C Nandy, C Tick­ell and K Tay­lor.

Goals: J Wilkie 12, C Nandy 6, M Lane 2, B Com­bridge 2, J Caswell, M Pid­geon, J Lowe, C Tick­ell and K An­drews.

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