Muddies avoid wooden spoon in style
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
THE RG Gladstone Mudcrabs avoided the wooden spoon with a 9.8 (62) to 5.9 (39) Trend Interiors/Carpet Court AFL Capricornia A grade victory over fellow battlers CQU Panthers at Clinton Park on Saturday.
With the wooden spoon to be 'won' by the losers of Saturday's game, and the emotion of backing up after loyal clubman Jules Barrett's funeral on Friday, Mudcrabs coach Jason Chirgwin and his team-mates were not lacking motivation.
'We weren't going to go from premiers to wooden spooners,' Chirgwin said. "We started a bit slow but led at every change. We combined as a team and got a bit of running play after halftime.'
Chirgwin said Barrett's Mudcrabs jersey had been displayed to the team prior to the match to "inspire us to play with the heart that Jules always did'.
An improved goal kicking performance, which Chirgwin believed was the first occasion this season the side registered more goals than behinds, also contributed to the victory.
Although the Mudcrabs' season has not been a memorable one, Chirgwin took heart from the fact the A grade side won its final two games (making it three for the year) while the club has also qualified for the reserve grade finals.
He said the positive finish to the season was encouraging for next year's campaign.
Chirgwin led from the front in the centre of the park before later moving to the forward pocket and was named as one of the Mudcrabs' best alongside half back Andrew Miller and captain Andy Travers on the wing.
Ben Redway booted three goals for the Mudcrabs while Chirgwin and veteran John Terrick added two apiece.