Bury stands tall in Crathern Park ‘cracker’


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PEEKABURY: Port Douglas star Pete Bury was instrumental in the Crocs narrow win over the Bulldogs on Saturday. IMAGE: Brett Pascoe Photography.

PORT DOUGLAS coach Brad Cooper wanted a fierce contest against Centrals Trinity Beach and he got it.

The Crocs boss was eager to see his 2017 model tested under finals-like intensity after coasting through the early rounds undefeated. And it was one of his premiership stars from last year, Pete Bury, who stood tall when the going got tough in the last quarter.

An upset was brewing at Crathern Park when the Crocs 20-point half-time lead was eroded with 10 minutes to play. The Bulldogs had the momentum after goals from Michael Chitham and Jackson Williams in front of a vocal home-crowd, but it was Bury who halted the shift. The gun Croc took some clutch marks in defence and won crucial one-on-one battles, one of which proved decisive.

After out-pointing Hugh Nicholson in a marking contest, Bury was collected high resulting in a 50M penalty, a yellow card for his opponent and his second goal as the Crocs held on for a 18.12 (120) to 17.5. (107) win.

“Pete was fantastic,” Cooper said.

“He showed great leadership in that last quarter and was one of the guys that really stood up.

“It was a cracker of a game which had a bit of everything.”

Cooper said he’d found it hard to gauge the form of some of his players given their dominance in the first eight rounds.

“It’s hard to assess how some players are travelling when you’re winning by so much every week, so this was a great learning curve,” he said.

“I’ve always said you learn 10 things when you win and 100 when you lose. We didn’t lose the match but we could have easily, so it was a great response from our boys when they were challenged in that last quarter.”

Speedy wingman Brett McKeown was one who showed he could stand up under pressure. His two-way running and tackling was superb on Saturday, while veteran Wes Glass, Jordan Chapman, Dylan Wearmouth and skipper Kye Chapple (six goals) were important.

“We played in bursts but that tends to happen when you’re playing good sides, there can be momentum shifts,” Cooper said.

“It was a pleasing victory but showed we have a few areas to work on.”

Centrals Trinity Beach     2.1      8.2       14.5      17.5 (107)
Port Douglas Crocs          6.2      11.6     14.9     18.12 (120)

Goals: J. Williams 5, M. Chitham 4, H. Nicholson 2, J. Campbell, J. Holt, S. Babia, J. Potter, C. Roberts, G. Simon
Best: C. Paterson, J. Williams, H. Nicholson, M. McLachlan, R. Bridge, R. Lempa

Goals: K. Chapple 6, K. Bradshaw 3, A. Gross 2, P. Bury 2, T. Lehman, A. Dickson, H. MacInnes, M. Medcraft, M. Bohm
Best: B. McKeown, P. Bury, W. Glass, J. Chapman, D. Wearmouth, K. Chapple

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