Glass wins Jack­son medal

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - Jor­dan Ger­rans

THE five North Queens­land AFL leagues will have 12 months to find a hand­ful of big­ger-bod­ied mid­field­ers if they are go­ing to com­pete with South Queens­land in 2018.

For the sec­ond year straight, the South’s ex­pe­ri­enced on-ball brigade, led by for­mer Bris­bane Lion Daniel Dzufer, blitzed their north­ern ri­vals to claim the an­nual rep­re­sen­ta­tive game.

NQ, made up of play­ers from Cairns, Capri­cor­nia, Mackay, Mt Isa and Townsville, im­proved as the game went on but the da­m­age had al­ready been done in the open­ing two quar­ters as SQ held on to win 9.8 (62) 13.14 (92).

Port Dou­glas de­fender Wes Glass won the Wayne Jack­son Medal for most out­stand­ing NQ player.

The hosts were best served by Crath­ern Medal con­tender Mathew Med­craft of Port Dou­glas while Cairns Saints pair Joel New­man and Fitzroy Green­wool showed flashes of bril­liance.

NQ coach Brad Cooper felt his mid­field strug­gled to com­pete against the op­po­nents’ strong on-ball unit.

It felt like SQ won al­most ev­ery clear­ance in the open­ing half as they rarely gave the North a chance.

“We started slowly and did not play ac­count­able foot­ball,” Cooper said.

“We gave them a start and a qual­ity side like them did not waste it.

“We had to work re­ally hard for our goals where they seemed to get them eas­ily.”

South had an ob­vi­ous plan to not be beaten by Port Dou­glas skip­per Kye Chap­ple as they swarmed on the full for­ward ev­ery time he was near the ball.

Af­ter win­ning the first two en­coun­ters be­tween the re­gions, the North will need to con­vince a hand­ful of their bet­ter play­ers who avoided se­lec­tion this year to play in 2018 if they are to turn the ta­bles back their way.

“I do not think we have got the full buy in from play­ers, we get full buy in for the play­ers that have turned up to­day,” Cooper said.

“There are oth­ers that have de­cided not to play for what­ever rea­son.

“All we can do is put to­gether a pro­gram that be­comes at­trac­tive to play­ers and coaches of lo­cal clubs.

“For guys that have played NQ, the stan­dard they played will hold them in good stead lead­ing into the fi­nals.”

Of the four years the game has been played, the ledger is now even at two wins each.

NQ fell be­hind early on as SQ took a 15-point ad­van­tage into the first change with Ezekiel Frank and Fitzroy Green­wool boot­ing goals in the open­ing term.

The hosts got on top for pe­ri­ods of the third term but bat­tled to turn it into score­board pres­sure with just Med­craft and Chap­ple adding goals.

Green­wool was light­ning for NQ, as he has been all sea­son for Saints, and ex­cited the crowd that was on hand early for the AFL match to follow.

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Wes Glass won the Wayne Jack­son Medal for most out­stand­ing NQ player

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