Tough and smart team lift the cup
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.