Crocs eye off finals
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.
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.”
Walking wounded: Simon Chick
Putting the boot in: