Taipans put bite on home crowd

MISSED chances in the second half have cost the Frenchville Sports Club Capricorn Cougars a start in the Football Queensland State Cup final.

Playing to the beat of Brazilian drums and a big crowd at Rockhampton's Ryan Park on Satur- day night, the Cougars' run ended with a hard fought 1-0 loss to the Far North Queensland Taipans.

The northern visitors, who had only conceded one goal before this contest, dominated the opening half with their pin-point long passing game and additional height and size.

In the 25th minute Sean Burke scored the only goal of the game, pouncing on a cross into the goal.

After half-time it was a different Cougars team that hit the park, matching Far North Queensland's physical presence and dominating the play.

Central midfielder Tristan Fraser, of Rockhampton, had the home side's best scoring chance of the game but pushed the ball just left of the goal.

Fraser took a long range shot despite having the services of Gladstone's Lee Veenhoven and Rockhampton's Kenny Robertson flanking him.

The Cougars had several second half chances, often catching the Taipans goalie Sam Ferguson off his line until the Taipans would have someone in the last line of defence to clear the ball off the line.

Cougars coach Justin Kilshaw said his team had "run out of luck''.

Kilshaw was adament this was a game played in two halves with his side struggling to cope with the visitor's size and strength in the first half before the Cougars lifted the tempo after half-time.

"We challenged them at half time to come out and have a go,'' Kilshaw said.

One player who had a go for two halves was Rockhampton central midfielder Clayton Rowland, who was deservedly named the Cougars' man of the match.

While Rowland gave away substantial height against his opponents he excelled in dogged determination, going hard for every ball.

The Taipans now meet Brisbane club Pine Rivers in Saturday's final at Barlow Park in Cairns after their 3-2 semi-final win over Rochedale.

Joining the Pine Rivers team is former Capricorn Coast player Josh Evans.

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