Chap­ple’s day but Cut­ters may yet ruin the party

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - Jim Buck­ley

WHILE the Crocs were en­thu­si­as­ti­cally cel­e­brat­ing power-for­ward Kye Chap­ple’s goal-kick­ing feats at the Croc-Pit on Satur­day, against a poorly per­form­ing North Cairns, an omi­nous warn­ing cloud came float­ing up the high­way from Crath­ern Park, the home of the Trin­ity Beach Bull­dogs.

The near full strength South Cairns Cut­ters had posted an eye-catch­ing 45-point vic­tory over the se­cond placed home-side and, in do­ing so, staked a solid claim for premier­ship favouritism.

Chap­ple had brought up his cen­tury with a 16 goal match­haul, but the eu­pho­ria sur­round­ing his in­di­vid­ual achievement be­gan to wane with the news of the Cut­ters’ po­tent dis­play. The re­al­ity con­fronting the Crocs, de­spite be­ing un­de­feated this sea­son, is that the Port boys are no longer, ac­cord­ing to many AFL pun­dits, the pick for the flag in 2017.

As a re­sult, Crocs’ coach Brad Cooper is fac­ing a mas­sive chal­lenge to have his play­ers fully hard­ened for the gen­uinely com­bat­ive fi­nals series that looms in Septem­ber.

A sus­pi­cion, now ver­i­fied, that the Cut­ters were strate­gi­cally field­ing un­der-manned teams when up against the Crocs will add a healthy dose of re­al­ity to Port’s prepa­ra­tion. With two games to play, a meet­ing with the Cut­ters in the fi­nal round will serve as a foot­ball-ap­per­tiser to an in­trigu­ing Septem­ber fi­nals’ ban­quet.

The Crocs faced lit­tle re­sis­tance from the Tigers and played pretty much at will.

Need­ing 6 ma­jors in the last quar­ter, Chap­ple’s team­mates were so in­tent on their star-for­ward bring­ing up his ton that the goal to clinch his cen­tury - his 14th for the day up un­til then- came from a closerange snap, the Sher­rin hav­ing passed through five sets of Crocs’ hands (within a ten me­tre ra­dius of the star-for­ward) be­fore be­ing de­liv­ered to Chap­ple to put on his boot.

He was im­me­di­ately sur­rounded by Crocs’ play­ers and ador­ing fans, in­clud­ing his mother.

The Crocs had many good play­ers. But none bet­ter than on-ballers Todd Schap­ter and Mitch Bohm.

Chap­ple owned the day. But the Crocs don’t yet own Septem­ber!

Best Play­ers: Kye Chap­ple, Todd Schap­ter, Mitchell Bohm, Peter Bury, Josh Lea and Jono Hobbs.

Lead­ing Goal­kick­ers: Kye Chap­ple 16 (102), Matty Med­craft 5, Kurt Brad­shaw and Mitch Bohm 3, Troy Lehman and Wes Glass 2.

Pic­ture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Kye Chap­ple is chaired off the ground af­ter a match in which he kicked 16 goals and racked up more than 100 for the sea­son. It was the third year in a row he has passed a ton

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