Crocs’ gal­lant ges­ture

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

THE score­board pretty much told the story at the Croc-pit last Satur­day. Brad Cooper’s team had sixty more scor­ing shots and the se­verely de­pleted Cairns Li­ons man­aged only two points for the game. The mas­sive mar­gin (over 35 goals) was al­ways in­evitable and crowd in­ter­est waned as the one-sided con­test pro­gressed.

Cooper took the op­por­tu­nity to rest some key play­ers and this her­alded the in­clu­sion of two teenagers, Tom Goodall and Bray­den Wall. Both are mo­bile young talls and Goodall, in par­tic­u­lar, may well hold his po­si­tion in the Crocs’ best when the fi­nals ap­proach. Wall booted three im­pres­sive ma­jors and his fast lead­ing cut swathes through a strug­gling op­po­si­tion de­fence.

The Crocs’ best player list could have hosted all 22 play­ers,. Jesse Maw­son kicked 10 goals, in the ab­sence of lead­ing for­ward Kye Chap­ple, and man­aged to con­found the Li­ons whose backs were un­der con­stant siege. Adam Gross and Kurt Brad­shaw helped them­selves to 4 goals each as the ball flowed end­lessly into the Crocs’ of­fen­sive fifty me­tre arc.

Early goals to run­ning de­fend­ers Wes Glass and Troy Lehman set the tone for the day as the Crocs’ at­tack­ing moves grew more re­lent­less. Matty Med­craft, Peter Bury and Todd Shap­ter, on the back of Kal­lum Oates’ ruck dom­i­nance, mauled the Li­ons’ on­ballers.

The one-way flow of the foot­ball made for the pre­dicted lop-sided na­ture of the con­test, but to the Li­ons’ credit the boys from Hol­loways Beach never stopped com­pet­ing. It is tough times for them at the mo­ment, but the foot­ball-tide al­ways turns and the frus­tra­tions of sea­son 2017 will erase for them with strate­gic re­cruit­ing in the com­ing years.

In a ges­ture of sol­i­dar­ity with the Li­ons the Crocs’ as­sis­tant coach, Wes Glass, broke with tra­di­tion at the af­ter­match awards cer­e­mony and pre­sented the Crocs’ best player prizes to var­i­ous Li­ons’ play­ers. This was recog­ni­tion by the Crocs’ club that, de­spite ex­pe­ri­enc­ing tough times on the field, the Li­ons re­main a val­ued part of the AFL Cairns foot­ball com­mu­nity.

An act of ca­ma­raderie by the Crocs. A class act by Glass.

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Peter Bury marks, with Matthew Med­craft look­ing on

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