A crack, but no win


IMG_9632By Gary Stocks

If ‘having a crack’ is the minimum benchmark to satisfy a coach – as is so often touted – then O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Grade coach David Hynes would be a contented man.

Truth is, that quip about having a crack is most consistently trotted out when a team has failed to do so. When they do have a crack the benchmark is raised. So far from being contented, Hynes was tormented when the Beach lost to competition trendsetter University on Saturday.

The Beach had a crack, no question about that. But they didn’t win. And the primary reason they didn’t win was because so often, having worked hard to win possession of football, they surrendered it through poor skill execution.

The tackling pressure, contested ball statistics, clearances and other key measures were all either in the advantage of North Beach or line ball. But at game’s end University was six goals to the good.

The Scholars kicked out to a five-goal advantage at the first change and essentially held that edge to the end, winning by 34 points. The Beach, as is their signature, was strong and combative, but the skill issue was a problem.

The area where the biggest discrepancy came was in ‘clangers’ where North Beach was a clear winner, or is that loser?

The turnovers were frustrating for Hynes and his group, but captain Beau Witheridge, who always has a dip, led by example with developing players Rhys Holdman, Nick Reid, Jay Allison-Green and Nick Bowe all showing encouraging signs while Christian Bottechia presented strongly up forward.

The Lifenet A-Reserves also chipped away after conceding the Scholars an early advantage and could have snatched the game, but kicking consecutive goals proved an issue in a 6.3 (39) to 7.12 (54) defeat.

University established an early lead and while the game was competitive throughout, the Beach could not sustain enough productive passages of play to get over the line.

Similar to what unfolded in the game that followed, University executed their skills better under pressure and it proved decisive, although Scott Holbrook would still have seen plenty of upside in his team’s performance.

Youngsters Tom DeCourtenay and Jack O’Gorman were inspirational while experienced players Luke Hendriks, in his return to the club, Cody Enders, Dion Cownie and Liam Pardini were solid contributors.

The Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts produced a typically entertaining performance against University before the Students escaped with a two-point victory. It was a game that could have fallen either way, but they were in front on the final bell.

It was, however, a terrific display of our great game in some testing conditions, and eye-catching individuals included Jack Dalton, Caolen O’Connell and Nick Marsh.

In unusual circumstances the Red Hill Brett Jones Colts kicked off proceedings against Trinity Aquinas at Curtin University and started the day positively.

After a tight first half, the Beach kicked away in the second half and won 9.11 (65) to 5.6 (36) – emphasising the depth in this young group.

Josh Cameron was lively up forward with five goals, while Richie Nguyen and Ben Johnson were also strong contributors.

The Hybrid Linings D1-Grade produced the most exhilarating victory of the day, coming from a scrappy first half effort to win 8.11 (59) to 8.8 (56).

Led by Liam Ellis up forward and with the experience of Ryan Dwyer, Trevor Lang and Alex Luck the Beach powered home to score an exciting win.

Earlier in the day, the Coast to Coast Imports D1-Reserves also kicked off on a positive note, proving far too strong for Trinity Aquinas, winning by 47 points.

With Tim McConachie and Michael Collins outstanding across half-back and the grunt of Dean Wilson providing the energy, the Beach as in control from the outset and never relinquished their hold on the game.

On Charles Riley (2) it was an important and historic day for the club as the Express Bins D2-Grade and the Fusion D2-Reserves formally ensuring that North Beach is the biggest amateur club in the country – fielding six senior teams and two colts.

While the club would have preferred different results against Ballajura, the boys were more than competitive and represented the club with pride.

The D2-Grade lost by six goals while the D2-Reserves were beaten by about four goals but likes of club stalwarts Peter Panagopolous, Novak Smith, Deon Jacobs, Marc Gangemi and Brett Anthony were terrific and will provide the pillar as these teams progress through the year.

O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
University            5.3         6.7         8.10       12.11     83
North Beach       0.3         1.7         4.10       6.13      49
Goals – North Beach: Bottechia, Brown, Cranley, Davies, Edwards, Ekert.
Best – North Beach: Witheridge, Holdman, Reid, Allison-Green, Bottechia, Bowe.

Lifenet A-Reserves
University 7.12 (54) def North Beach 6.3 (39)
Goals – North Beach: Adler 2; DeCourtenay, Spencer, Enders, Cownie.
Best – North Beach: O’Gorman, DeCourtenay, Enders, Hendriks, Cownie, Liam Pardini.

Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
University            2.1         3.3         4.4         5.6         36
North Beach       2.1         3.1         5.3         5.4         34
Goals – North Beach: Brooks 2; Holden, Dalton, O’Connell.
Best – North Beach: Dalton, Hoskins, O’Connell, Marsh, Deagan

Red Hill Brett Jones Colts
North Beach       2.1         5.4         7.7         9.11       65
Trinity Aquinas   2.2         3.3         5.4         5.6         36
Goals – North Beach: Cameron 5; Cahill 2; Dunjey, Johnson, Quinn, Ugle.
Best – North Beach: Nguyen, Johnson, Seaton.

Hybrid Linings D1-Grade
North Beach       1.4         2.7         6.9         8.11       59
Trinity Aquinas   2.0         5.2         8.5         8.8         56
Goals – North Beach: Ellis 3; Tonus 2; Jones, Veitch, Whitbread.
Best – R Dwyer, Lang, Luck, C Cranley, Tonus, S Duckworth

Coast to Coast Imports D1-Reserves
North Beach       3.3         4.6         9.8         10.9       69
Trinity Aquinas   0.1         0.2         1.4         3.4         22
Goals – North Beach: McSween 3; Bramley, Alco, Copley, Csar, Heap, van Der Kraats, D Wilson.
Best – North Beach: McConachie, D Wilson, M Collins, Clapham.

Express Bins D2-Grade
Ballajura              5.3         9.5         10.10     12.11     83
North Beach       0.2         3.4           5.5         6.10     46
Goals – North Beach: Mirabile, Short, Mihevc, Rollo, Smith.
Best – North Beach: Jacobs, Gelle, Anthony, Dellamotte, Short.

Fusion D2-Reserves
Ballajura              4.9         4.11       4.15       6.16       52
North Beach       0.2         1.3         1.5         3.8         26
Goals – North Beach: Clarke, French, Pitts.
Best – North Beach: Panagopolous, Gangemi, Clark, Mulcahy.