Crocs see off ‘Dogs

Tougher en­counter but Crocs rule

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

COOPER’S Crocs sur­vived a tor­rid con­fronta­tion at the Ken­nel last Satur­day with the Bull­dogs con­firm­ing that the race for the 2017 pre­mier­ship is still alive.

The Crocs re­main un­de­feated but the Trin­ity Beach side had ev­ery right to claim brag­ging-rights on the day as the home team pres­sured and ha­rassed the Port boys at ev­ery con­test.

De­spite miss­ing three star play­ers, the Bull­dogs were al­ways within strik­ing dis­tance and will take heart from the close en­counter with the reign­ing premier.

The phys­i­cal na­ture of the con­test is the tem­plate by which op­po­si­tion sides will con­struct game plans to try to unset­tle the Crocs come the fi­nals.

The Port Dou­glas vis­i­tors ex­tended a six-point quar­ter­time lead to 24 points by half­time, but this mar­gin did not ac­cu­rately in­di­cate the nar­row gap be­tween the teams in gen­eral play.

With Mitch Bohm win­ning his share of the ruck con­tests against big­ger and stronger op­po­nents, on-ballers Peter Bury, Matty Med­craft and Dy­lan Wear­mouth were able to win enough of the Sher­rin to sup­ply cre­ative for­wards Kye Chap­ple and Daniel Young with goal-scor­ing chances.

The power-backs, De­clan Kelly and Jono Hobbs, were out­stand­ing as they re­pelled many of the Dogs’ for­ward en­tries.

Swing-play­ers Troy Lehman, Josh Lea and Tommy Goodall all won plenty of hard­ball-gets and were well sup­ported by the strong body work of lively small-for­wards Jesse Maw­son and Adam Gross.

The Crocs went into the fi­nal-quar­ter with an 18-point ad­van­tage hav­ing been force­fully re­minded by coach Cooper the up­beat Dog­gies were about to se­ri­ously chal­lenge. A slice of Chap­ple magic, from a bul­lock­ing Bury clear­ance, re­sulted in an early Port goal and this ap­peared to sap the emo­tional en­ergy of the Bull­dogs.

The Crocs took com­mand in the lat­ter stages to re­main un­beaten, but Cooper was quick to an­nounce af­ter the game that the fi­nal 46 point mar­gin was in­flated. He fully ac­knowl­edged the qual­ity of the home-team and ear­marked the Bull­dogs as wor­thy num­ber-one-con­tenders for this sea­son’s ti­tle.

Pic­ture: BRETT PAS­COE

Phys­i­cal con­test: The Crocs’ An­gus Dick­son clashes with a Bull­dogs player

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