Crocs fight but fall short

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Crocs fight but fall short

Watsons Oval was bathed in sunshine for the opening hit-out for Port Douglas Crocs Season 2012.  Unfortunately North Cairns were to prove too strong for the vastly new-look Crocs team. 
Before the game the opposing teams, match officials, and spectators observed a minute's silence in memory of the tragic loss of local young Croc identity Graeme Elliot, and Melbourne Football Club great, Jim Stynes. 
The game commenced at a frantic pace with North Cairns having almost all of the play.  Poor kicking for goal let them down but the early signs for Port Douglas were ominous. 

Mitch Nicholson and newcomers Sam Combridge and Kurt Bradshaw were prominent stopping many opposition forward thrusts with strong defensive work.  At quarter time the score board confirmed the Crocs' woes.  North Cairns 4-7 to the Crocs 0-2.
Whatever coach Brad Cooper said to the boys at the quarter time break worked, as within the first two minutes Kurt Bradshaw had snapped two goals.  Sure, the Crocs were kicking with the wind but it seemed that the whole team had changed from being Clark Kent and had become Superman! 

Again the Crocs charged forward and dobbed another and at last there was some respectability on the scoreboard.  Spectators' head's lifted as they found their voice to encourage the team. 

Another new man, Luke Serong, found the goals and scores were almost level.  It had been a five goal to two quarter for Port.
Kicking into the breeze in the third quarter the Crocs were looking so much better.  First to the ball, fiercer tackling and better team work now evident as old and new team members started to combine more effectively. 

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The Crocs were facing a last quarter deficit of three goals but the task was certainly not impossible.  However to their credit the opposition rallied and had more fit players available for rapid interchanges. 

Port Douglas by now was down to only 18 fit players and in the extremely hot conditions were unable to sustain the pace.  The new players from the southern states will obviously take some time to acclimatise but they showed enough to ensure the Crocs will be able to field a competitive team each week.

Final scores: North Cairns 13-13-91 def. Port Douglas 10-9-69.
Goal kickers
: B. McCartney 3.  K Bradshaw 2. B. Combridge, D. Wearmoth, M. Nugen, L. Serong, K. Andrews.
Best players: R. Handley, K. Bradshaw, S. Gribbon, M. Nugen, D. Wearmouth, K Cadman.


The Reserves match was most entertaining with both teams going neck and neck for almost the entire match.  Early skill errors soon declined  and play was of a good standard. 

The Crocs put in a terrific final quarter to run out winners by almost three goals.  Luke Bloom, Kane Freyling, Jackson Brown,  Michael Pidgeon and Jules Smith put in excellent persistent performances.  Karl Zammataro showed he has lost none of his blistering pace.  Well done.

Final scores:  Port Douglas 9-11-65 def. North Cairns 7-8-50
Goal kickers: J. Wilkie 3, M. Addinsall 2, J. Caswell, K. Zammataro, S. Evans, L. Bloom
Best players: J. Brown, L Butterss, J. Smith, M. Pidgeon, K Zammataro. L. Bloom.