Over-pow­ered but Lions put up solid fight

The Cairns Post - - SPORT - SA­MUEL DAVIS sa­muel.davis1@news.com.au

CAIRNS City Lions have fought valiantly against a rampaging South Cairns Cut­ters de­ter­mined to re­main in the pre­mier­ship hunt in 2017.

A pal­try crowd wit­nessed the spir­ited Lions’ 2.3 (15) to 48.17 (305) de­feat at Power Park in Gor­don­vale on Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon.

The Lions worked hard in every quar­ter with a late goal from full-for­ward Mal­colm Do­toi draw­ing rous­ing cheers, while strong con­tri­bu­tions from mid­fielder Josh Brinn and un­der­sized de­fender Matthew White served as some con­so­la­tion for the club.

But the Cut­ters’ im­pres­sive mid­field proved too strong with rep­re­sen­ta­tive star Zac Ewer kick­ing 13 goals in a best on ground per­for­mance.

Ewer’s tally was only eclipsed by that of player-coach Cameron Camp­bell, who slot­ted 15 ma­jors in his 199th game.

Lions coach Syd Fat­nowna said the emer­gence of qual­ity play­ers from within his squad gave him con­fi­dence the club would im­prove in 2018.

“It’s not about the score­board … it’s (about) en­deav­our,” Fat­nowna said. “I can’t fault it with the boys week-in­week-out. Their tough­ness is more than what any coach could ask for. They’re hav­ing a real crack.

“Brinny’s had an ex­cel­lent sea­son. I think the boys are fairly tired at the mo­ment and wait­ing for the last four games.

“We just want to fin­ish off strongly.”

The win turns around a three-game los­ing streak for the Cut­ters.

Coach Camp­bell said de­spite the score­board, the Lions showed plenty of prom­ise.

“We all know Lions are do­ing their best to field a team each week. It’s ad­mirable what they’re do­ing,” he said.

“Their young fel­las are try­ing to com­pete and that’s all you can ask for.

“Ev­ery­one goes through it … hope­fully there’s light at the end of the tun­nel.”

Camp­bell and club veteran Mick Markham will notch up their 200th games for the Cut­ters next week against North Cairns Tigers.

“I’ve played all my ju­niors here. To be able to do it (play my 200th game) with Mick will be a spe­cial day,” he said.

At Port Dou­glas, the Crocs’ hand­ball game through the mid­dle of the ground cut up an­other op­po­nent. This week it was Cairns Saints.

Saints, with­out key for­ward pair­ing Tim Lam­prill and Lach­lan Poul­ter, had their share of op­por­tu­ni­ties but failed to con­vert their chances.

The Crocs ab­sorbed the early pres­sure, then ran riot as their deep on-ball unit ran in waves through the mid­dle of the ground to hit up for­wards Kye Chap­ple and Lee Sta­ple. Port Dou­glas Crocs 6.2-38 10.666 14.6-90 18.13-121 Cairns Saints 0.1-1 1.2-8 2.3-15 3.3-21 Port Dou­glas Crocs Goal Kick­ers: L. Fan­ning 4, B. Wall 3, A. Macleod 2, A. David­son 2, K. Sex­ton 2, T. Gul­liver, J. Maw­son, N. Good­man, S. Roberts Best Play­ers: A. David­son, K. Oates, L. Fan­ning, T. Or­fordGlapa, K. Sex­ton Cairns Saints Goal Kick­ers: D. Lewis-Jones 2 Best Play­ers: S. Poep­jes, T. LakeCar­roll, A. Couch, D. Lewis-Jones, T. Mack­rill, D. Green­woool Pyra­mid Power 3.2-20 5.3-33 7.6-48 7.9-51 South Cairns Cut­ters 2.2-14 5.636 6.9-45 11.11-77 Pyra­mid Power Goal Kick­ers: D. Floyd 4, T. Sam­mons, C. Sul­li­van, L. Car­mody Best Play­ers: C. Wal­don, V. Mun­draby, D. Floyd, T. Mooka, C. Sul­li­van, M. Sam South Cairns Cut­ters Goal Kick­ers: G. Ptasznik 2, C. Wan­ders 2, J. Bar­nett 2, J. Far­ley-Smith 2, K. Petri, K. Gibbs, I. Solly Best Play­ers: S. Wei­d­ner, J. Far­ley-Smith, J. Bar­nett, P. Buller, C. Wan­ders, G. Ptasznik

Pic­tures: BREN­DAN RADKE

UP THERE: Corey Flint takes a screamer for the Hawks right in front of the grand­stand at Cazalys against Cen­trals Trin­ity Beach Bull­dogs.

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