Tough and smart team lift the cup

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

NINE months of hard work by play­ers, coaches and of­fi­cials was on show on Satur­day when The Port Dou­glas Crocs stepped onto the big stage at Cazaly’s to face a red hot South Cairns with the ledger at two wins all dur­ing the sea­son.

AFL Cairns put on a great show and the game was streamed live with com­men­tary to many homes of loved ones and friends down south.

Af­ter the fan­fare of break­ing through ban­ners and lin­ing up for the na­tional an­them the game set a crack­ing pace with both sides not tak­ing a back­ward step.

Fit­tingly though, the first goal went the Crocs’ skip­per Kye Chap­ple who had been un­der an in­jury cloud all week.

Crocs suf­fered an early blow with the con­sis­tent ruck­man Paul Lewis forced from the field and to hos­pi­tal with a knock to the rib which re­sulted in a break and a punc­tured lung.

That left the boys with 21 men for the rest of the con­test and forc­ing Kal­lum Oates into the ruck along with Ethan McCul­lough who rucked very

well to the rest of the match.

At quar­ter time the Crocs were up by seven points in an even con­test.

The sec­ond quar­ter saw the game see-saw­ing and nei­ther side could gain an as­cen­dancy.

Both mid­fields were hav­ing a red hot crack and Jesse Maw­son had three on the board by half time and help­ing the Crocs to a slen­der four-point lead.

The premier­ship quar­ter saw both sides de­fend­ing des­per­ately, led by the run­ning pair of Alex Ben­dle and Jor­dan Chap­man and stead­ied via De­clan Kelly.

Only 2 goals were added by ei­ther team and the game was ab­so­lutely in the bal­ance and ready for the tak­ing by who­ever wanted it most.

Andrew Ma­cLeod goaled within a minute in the last quar­ter and tried to pump the side up but soon af­ter the Cut­ters goaled twice.

The next six min­utes of the game was the crit­i­cal point which saw the in and un­der Todd Shap­ter clear the ball on sev­eral oc­ca­sions along with the sharp Zach Gub­bins, Josh Lea on his wing and re­lent­less Dy­lan Wear­mouth to pile on the next four goals of the game hit­ting up Kye for two, Jesse kick­ing his fourth and when Wes Glass pushed for­ward to kick one the crowd sensed vic­tory and broke the Cut­ters and the game open.

When best on ground Kye kicked his seventh the party be­gan with Dy­lan Wear­mouth fit­tingly kick­ing the sealer right on the siren as they piled on seven last quar­ter goals.

The game plan of a fresh legs in­ter­change ap­proach looked to be the dif­fer­ence as the Crocs ran the game out till the very last minute.

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