Dogs clash a taste of fi­nals-style footy

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

THE Port Dou­glas Crocs man­aged to find a way to grab the four points against a tal­ented and well struc­tured Bull­dogs at Trin­ity Beach.

Af­ter trail­ing by six goals dur­ing the sec­ond term, the ever-im­prov­ing Dog­gies man­aged to draw level dur­ing a pul­sat­ing last quar­ter that saw the ball re­bound­ing from end to end.

The early loss of rock-solid cen­tre half­back De­clan Kelly to a calf strain just be­fore half­time, seemed to un­set­tle the nor­mally un­flap­pable Crocs’ de­fence.

The 22-point gap at the long break was nar­rowed to 4 points at three-quar­ter time and it was game-on in a hec­tic fi­nal term.

In his ad­dress at the last change, Brad Cooper urged his Crocs’ play­ers to em­brace the chal­lenge the Bull­dogs had pre­sented them and to take the game on with at­tack­ing flair.

Cooper was rel­ish­ing the com­bat­ive na­ture of the contest and de­manded his side do the same by at­tack­ing at all costs.

In a bruis­ing cli­max to an emo­tion charged game, Cooper’s boys, led by dis­ci­plined on-ballers Peter Bury, Dy­lan Wear­mouth and Matty Med­craft, copped the whacks from a spir­ited op­po­nent to run out nar­row 14 point vic­tors.

Cooper was de­lighted with the fierce­ness both sides showed for the con­tested ball and the fo­cused re­sponse from his side.

A taste of fi­nals footy in May!

Wes Glass was his usual steady self and he is a one of the Crocs’ lead­ers, along with Kye Chap­ple, young Brett McKe­own and the ver­sa­tile Gavin Jacks, who are “good driv­ers in heavy traf­fic”.

The tougher the bet­ter for this quar­tet.

Cooper and his side now know that the chal­lengers to their pre­mier­ship crown are gain­ing mo­men­tum and the 2017 ti­tle is up for grabs. Any of the top four sides are ca­pa­ble and, at the top end, the Cairns AFL com­pe­ti­tion is alive and well. A spec­ta­tor’s de­light!

Pic­ture: BRETT PAS­COE

Peter Bury led from the front

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