Crocs rally to defy old Bulldog spirit
IF resilience is the key element for survival, then the current crop of Crocs has it in spades.
The locals’ first home game of the AFL season, heavily disguised as a sloshy and slippery slugfest, saw the unfurling of the 2016 pennant.
As premiership president, Greg Nicholson, and longserving club stalwart, John Cameron, alighted the GBR helicopter with the premiership cup and flag, a wag in the well-patronised bar suggested that the chopper should hover a while to dry out the waterlogged playing surface.
Celebrations concluded, the 2017 Crocs set about winning the contest against the muchimproved Trinity Beach Bulldogs.
After responding ruthlessly to a halftime deficit last week against the impressive Saints, the locals were off to a focused start with Jesse Mawson and Brett McKeown goaling early.
Fresh from a successful season in the Darwin League, the return to the Croc-Pit of 2005 premiership ruckman, Josh Wilson, added genuine strength and class to the Crocs’ midfield.
Wilson didn’t record huge stats for possessions, but his palming of the ball at stoppages, and his clever use of his massive frame, opened pathways for his fleet-footed onballers.
Elusive small-forwards, Lachy Fanning, and ball-magnet, Dylan Wearmouth, were dominant in the first half. Ably supported by the dogged McKeown, the bullocking Peter Bury and the in-andunder Jack Riley, the Crocs established a handy 15 point lead at the main break.
The heavy ground was taxing on all players but it was the Bulldogs who clawed back the halftime margin and midway through the third quarter snatched a three point lead as the Crocs were conceding too many uncontested possessions to the disciplined Doggies.