By Gary Stocks
If the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team sat an exam last week, in the qualifying final against Wesley Curtin, the marker may well have given a pass, but with an additional comment or two.
“Tried hard. Work rate acceptable. Need to be more efficient with skill execution.”
There was no questioning the aptitude of the Beach, or its attention to detail, but was unable to sustain the pressure around the con test for long enough in what was essentially a seven-goal defeat.
The tackling ferocity was terrific, but too often, having won possession of the footy, it was then gifted to the opposition. The level of efficiency required to score victories at the sharp end of the season was short of the mark.
So the Beach will carry those lessons forward, look to improve on last week’s effort and keep alive the premiership dream when it confronts Swan Athletic in a cut-throat final at Macdonald Reserve tomorrow. A distinction is the target.
The Beach will host this fixture at the home of Whitford because Charles Riley Reserve is under construction and unavailable.
A fortnight ago North Beach eclipsed Swan Athletic at Fawell Park, but both teams are likely to have significantly different personnel available for this game.
The Beach has elevated forwards Mark Foreman and Michael Taylor, who were emergencies last week, in an effort to lift scoring efficiency and potency.
Through the midfield, the Beach did pretty well last week, but look to take it to another level against Athletic. They would dearly love another crack at University or Wesley Curtin and know that this will not be achieved without a total team commitment.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves begin their finals campaign a little earlier in the day when they confront arch rivals Trinity Aquinas in the second semi-final.
The Beach finished on top of the table, but understands that the season heats up now and they are ready for the challenge. With Swan Athletic despatching the Trinity Aquinas seniors from the premiership race last week, they will doubtless push some A-Grade players back for the remainder of the season, but North Beach should have the class to prevail.