Crocs eye off fi­nals

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

THE Port Dou­glas Crocs have the chance to break into the top four this Satur­day af­ter claim­ing the prized scalp of North Cairns last week­end.

In a red-hot game played at the Croc Pit, Port Dou­glas showed it had turned the cor­ner by win­ning against North Cairns which is in sec­ond spot on the lad­der and a real pre­mier­ship threat.

Crocs coach Brad Cooper had his play­ers fir­ing at an in­tense level and their tack­ling was fe­ro­cious and North Cairns did not en­joy the lux­ury of an easy kick for the whole game.

Skip Grib­bon slammed home the first goal of the match for the Crocs, and, af­ter a 50-me­tre penalty to Kurt Cad­man, the ball slapped into the hands of the fast-lead­ing Jack­son Brown for the Crocs’ sec­ond goal.

Jor­dan O’Gor­man passed to 15-year-old first se­nior-gamer Char­lie Wil­liams for the third goal and the siren ended an en­ter­tain­ing first quar­ter of football with both teams evenly matched at three goals apiece.

Crocs for­ward Jimmy Astill opened the scor­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter with a goal af­ter a nice lead and mark.

Af­ter some snappy work around goal a quick tap off the ground re­sulted in an­other goal.

Kane Freyling was hav­ing a good game across half-back and the big ruck­man Jules Smith ran into goal for an­other ma­jor. Ex­cel­lent set play to Kurt Cad- man re­sulted in an­other goal. The Crocs were show­ing the value of straight kick­ing.

Port Dou­glas had shots at goal com­pared to 17 for North Cairns with the game all square at the long break.

Port Dou­glas scored the first four goals of the sec­ond half due to a cul­mi­na­tion of bril­liant team work, great tack­ling, ac­cu­rate foot and hand pass­ing and out­stand­ing kick­ing for goal to hold a two-goal lead go­ing into the last quar­ter.

With the aid of the breeze the open­ing min­utes of the fi­nal quar­ter were all North Cairns. Jimmy Astill popped through a won­der­ful goal to keep the Crocs’ noses in front. Skip Grib­bon, Kurt Brad­shaw , Kurt Cad­man, Dylin Wear­mouth and Gavin Jacks re­fused to give in and dom­i­nated the mid­field.

Ben Her­bert and Kane Freyling were con­stantly re­liev­ing the pres­sure out of the back­line and an­other timely goal by Jimmy Astill proved to be the sealer.

In a dis­ap­point­ing out­ing for Port Dou­glas re­serves, the boys went down to a more ex­pe­ri­enced North Cairns out­fit.

If the Crocs can get on top of South Cairns away on Satur­day, they will be in the top four for the first time this sea­son on per­cent­age.

Cooper said the whole team con­trib­uted last week and he would be look­ing for the same ef­fort.

“Ev­ery­one

played

their roles re­ally well against North Cairns, we took our op­por­tu­ni­ties in front of goal and were too good with the con­tested ball,” he said.

“I un­der­stand they were miss­ing a few key play­ers but we’ve got a dozen miss­ing from our team.

“I was re­ally happy for the six or eight guys who have stuck with us all sea­son and it’s ex­cit­ing to see the de­vel­op­ment of the younger guys.

“We’ll have to be bet­ter again this week­end, this is re­ally a fi­nal for us, but the guys re­ally be­lieve in them­selves now and there’s no rea­son they can’t win it.”

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

Walk­ing wounded: Si­mon Chick

Photo by BRAD DEANE

Putting the boot in:

Pat Good­sell

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