Fans loud and proud

Swamp faith­ful prove the Croc­o­diles’ ultimate sixth man

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport - antony. ste­wart@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

T H E C r o c o d i l e s h a v e a n e w En­er­gizer Bunny ready to in­flict the ex­tra spring in his step on the rest of the NBL.

While play­ers around the league may be feel­ing the wear and tear of a long sea­son as the play­offs loom large, re­turn­ing Todd Blanch­field reck­ons his en­forced month-long lay-off has proven a per­fect re­fresher.

C e r t a i n l y t h e 1 9 - y e a r - o l d swing­man’s first-up ef­forts back on THANK you Townsville.

That was the mes­sage from the bot­tom of Croc­o­dile hearts yes­ter­day as the mag­ni­tude of their home court dom­i­nance be­gan to sink in.

A 13-1 reg­u­lar sea­son win­loss record at home has been the cor­ner­stone of the Crocs’ suc­cess this sea­son.

It’s form wor­thy of the NBL his­tory books, equalling the best home record in t he competition with a soli­tary loss.

Fit­tingly they qual­i­fied for the play-offs when they reached the mile­stone with t h e t h r i l l i n g 7 2 - 7 1 wi n against Perth last Fri­day in front of pul­sat­ing throng of more than 4400 spec­ta­tors.

W h i l e c o a c h T r e v o r Glee­son isn’t one to get side­tracked by the hype of a l a nd­mark e v e nt i n t he shad­ows of the fi­nals, he did pause to cel­e­brate this one.

‘‘ It’s a feather in the cap,’’ he said. ‘‘ Any time the team breaks a record like that it’s some­thing to be proud of. It hasn’t come easy in one of the tough­est years in the league. It’s good to know that guys can cre­ate records and we want to be cre­at­ing records this year, we are also hop­ing that it’s not all that we achieve.’’

The se­cret to suc­cess is some­thing Glee­son is only too ea­ger to share with his ri­vals – the vo­cal mass of sup­port at The Swamp.

‘‘ To have that be­hind you is a ma­jor el­e­ment in a C r o s s w e l l h a s n ’ t c o me across that noise in more than a decade of fre­quent­ing the sta­dium. Mick Cedar, how­ever, has had that pierc­ing tone rat­tle his head be­fore. ‘‘ That last two min­utes is the loud­est I’ve heard the place since the 2001 grand fi­nal,’’ he said.

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