Dogs clash a taste of finals-style footy
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!
Peter Bury led from the front