Crocs tackle champs

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

THE Port Dou­glas Crocs will get a good gauge of their premier­ship cre­den­tials when they tackle de­fend­ing pre­miers Cairns Saints in a twi­light game at the Crocpit on Satur­day.

Both teams are equal sec­ond on the lad­der be­hind un­de­feated North Cairns and while the Crocs will head into the game as un­der­dogs, they are prov­ing wor­thy con­tenders with their new-look team.

The Crocs would have gained some con­fi­dence from last Satur­day’s en­thralling one- point vic­tory over South Cairns.

From the open­ing bounce to the fi­nal siren, the re­sult was al­ways in doubt with both teams throw­ing ev­ery­thing they had at each other and mak­ing a few mis­takes which cost them much-needed goals.

The Cut­ters snuck away to a 14-point lead af­ter the first quar­ter be­fore the Crocs ral­lied, stead­ied and surged to­ward goal again and again.

Nei­ther team could break the de­fen­sive shack­les be­fore the Crocs un­leashed a flurry of goals in the third quar­ter and man­aged two late goals to score a 12.16.88 to 12.15.87 vic­tory.

Adam Boone at cen­tre-half for­ward was strong early and bat­tled tire­lessly all day, Kurt Brad­shaw was a ball mag­net and racked up nu­mer­ous telling pos­ses­sions as well as the fi­nal goal, Lukas Teas­dale was palm­ing the ball ef­fec­tively in the ruck and Mark Nug­gin was at his nippy tena­cious best on a wing.

Crocs coach Brad Cooper said it was a scrappy win with a lot of turnovers and mis­takes and his play­ers will have to im­prove if they want to taste vic­tory over the com­pe­ti­tion bench­mark on Satur­day.

‘‘There were pos­i­tives and neg­a­tives to take away from that game and now we need to work hard and get pre­pared for this week’s game against the Saints,’’ he said.

‘‘We need to be men­tally and phys­i­cally pre­pared for the match and make sure we put ev­ery­thing we have into all four quar­ters.’’

Cooper cited Ben Young, Kurt Brad­shaw, Adam Boone and Dy­lan Wear­mouth as his stand­outs.

‘‘Th­ese guys were run­ning hard all game, now we just need to get the other guys per­form­ing as well.’’

The re­serves match against Cut­ters was also a nip and tuck af­fair, with both teams re­fus­ing to give in.

Jimmy Astill was throw­ing him­self into the fray and get­ting nu­mer­ous touches, Mitch Ni­chol­son was mak­ing good use of the ball and Ethan McCul­loch was in fine form and fin­ished with four goals.

Kane Freyling was kick­ing long to po­si­tion and Chasely Nandy was prom­i­nent for the whole game.

Cut­ters staged a late re­vival but the Crocs pre­vailed to get home by 11 points 9.12.66 to 8.7.55.

The Crocs Un­der-16s will play a rare home game on Satur­day be­fore the re­serves start at 3pm and the se­niors at 5pm.

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