Crocs bow out
THE PORT Douglas Crocs Reserves staged a brilliant last quarter comeback at Cazalys on Saturday, but just fell short in their attempt to lift the Premiership Cup.
In the grand final against the Tigers, Heff’s youthful team slammed on seven goals to three for the quarter and finished just 14 points adrift after looking like a shot duck at three-quarter time.
The match was played in very warm conditions with a swirling breeze.
Some of the younger Crocs looked a little over-awed early but steady play by Sam Evans in defence; Matt Gard competitive in the ruck; Chaseley Nandy tackling well and Mitch Nicholson showing commanding poise in the midfield, helped the Crocs prevent the Tigers from controlling the game. Corey Barter and Sam Brewer were also doing well in defence; Alex Forbes was moving the ball well into the Crocs’ forward area; Jack Lowe popped a nice pass to Bucket McLeod and Harry Wilkie dobbed the Crocs’ first major. By quarter time there was only one goal in it.
In the second quarter Max Petrack turned back many Tigers forward thrusts and Chad Bertram was playing his usual gutsy game as an on-baller.
The Crocs had frequent use of the ball but found scoring difficult. The game was a dingdong, see-sawing battle. Mitch Boehm kicked accurately to keep the Crocs in the contest.
The Crocs team-work improved as the game progressed and their short passing became more accurate. Heath Willis was prominent; Ethan McCullough was flying for marks and Aaron Marks booted a great goal.
At the half-time break the 16 point deficit was not insurmountable and the large contingent of Crocs supporters remained optimistic.
Losing Josh Morrison, who had been playing a great game, to injury in the third, didn’t help and the Tigers outscored the Crocs for the term by four goals to one.
Liam Edwards, Jimmy Astill and Joey Butler were all having a red-hot go and Jacob Pearce was playing a great quarter of football but the Crocs’ scoring opportunities were just not there.
Zorba Barnett got a rousing reception from the crowd when he entered the fray.
The three-quarter time scoreboard showed the Crocs six goals in arrears and it appeared to be all over.
The manner in which coach Heff’s boys hurled themselves into the contest in the last quarter will stay in the memory for a long while. They outran their opponents and brushed tackles aside in their endeavour to bring home the Cup for their club. It was not to be.
The team has to be congratulated for performing so well right through the season.
Crocs 13- 6- 84 were defeated by Tigers 14-14-98.
Reserves after grand final day