Suns claim win in heavy rain
IT TOOK some of the heaviest rain at an AFL game in years but the Gold Coast Suns' Cairns hoodoo has finally been snapped.
Before Saturday night's win over North Melbourne, the Suns last tasted victory in the Far North of Queensland when Karmichael Hunt stepped up to pilot home his shot from 35m out to steal a win after the siren way back in 2012.
Since then, Richmond knocked them over once as the Western Bulldogs did on four occasions before the Suns were able to topple the Kangaroos in typical Cairns tropical rain.
And, to make the 3722 drenched fans in attendance even happier, it was local lad Jack Bowes who kicked the game clinching goal half way through the final term with the game on the line.
Bowes' goal broke North Melbourne's back as the Suns claimed their first victory under new coach Stuart Dew, 7.15 (55) - 5.9 (39).
The Cairns product had the most metres gained on the ground from both clubs in a coming of age performance at the elite level.
"It is a good start, the boys showed a lot of resilience," Bowes said.
"It was a great performance from the footy club."
The heaviest showers of the day hit in the half-hour before the ball was bounced as Cazalys Stadium looked like a puddle for most of the opening term.
Once the rain stopped in the second quarter, the ground seemed to drain reasonably quickly as the game was allowed to return to a more free-flowing style.
The poor conditions meant the ball was on ground level for the majority of the contest as slips and falls were more common than being hit lace-out on the chest.
Bowes was in the action early on as his backhanded spoil stopped a certain Kangaroos goal inside the first four minutes of the game.
After a quiet debut game in Cairns in 2017, the Cairns Saints junior was busy second-up in the Far North, collecting eight first quarter possessions, the most of any Sun.
He finished with 21 in an encouraging display while fellow Cairns junior Jarrod Harbrow mopped up plenty of rushed North entries deep in defence in a rock-solid performance.
The Suns had some shaky moments in the second half after opening up a 24-point lead in the second term but they did enough to hold on.
North moving skipper Jack Ziebell forward proved a master stroke as he booted two third term goals to put the 'Roos within touching distance before Trent Dumont drew scores level.
The Kangaroos dominated the third term, kicking four goals to none, but still trailed at the final change.
Earlier in the evening, youngster Darcy Macpherson got the Suns on the board with a clever snap through traffic and before you knew it, the Suns were in front as Ben Ainsworth doubled their goal tally.
After not kicking a goal in the opening term, Alex Sexton had the Suns third shortly before the long break.
In his first appearance for the club, Aaron Young pushed out the Suns advantage to 22-points nearing the long break with the Gold Coast's fifth goal for the second stanza.