By Gary Stocks
On a day of memorable milestones, North Beach celebrated appropriately with an A-Grade victory which entrenches them in the competition’s top three.
The 46-point triumph was a fitting way to acknowledge the 150th game of co-captain and outstanding midfielder Kyle Riemann. He worked hard on his big day and teammates responded.
The Beach needed a sharp start and that came with a 21-point buffer established at the first break. With the class of Dean Brennan shining through, forward James Sitters in good touch and with support coming from recently selected all-Australian utility player Cale Potts, the Beach built on that advantage through the day, eventually winning by a resounding 46 points.
Josh McGinnity enjoyed the freedom of playing on a wing and ruckman Alex Hack performed strongly in a game where there was an even contribution from all players.
The A-Reserves after a commanding first-half performance fell away after half-time and collapsed to a shock eight-point loss.
Unfortunately, on a day when Scott Holbrook chalked up his 250th game, the A-Ressies allowed a game within their grasp to slip through. Daniel Leishman and Mitch Holbrook each kicked three while another veteran, Chris Perkin, worked tirelessly in conjunction with Andrew Langsford, Ben Heap and Jason Hall, but it was not enough and a six-goal haul advantage quickly evaporated.
Sam Keely was prominent in back to back victories for the D1 and D-Reserves teams. Stepping out initially in the D-Reserves he kicked four goals in a hard-fought 19-point win and then backed up to again be prominent when the D1 team scored an important victory.
In the D-Reserves, he was ably assisted by lively half-forward Hayden French while Ben Tampian, Jarrad Venus and Tom Van der Kraats were also significant contributors in the win.
In the main match of the afternoon at Charles Riley, the D1 team established its superiority early and never let go on the way to coasting to a 67-point triumph. After kicking for goals in the early game, Keely bagged another five while the silky skills and pace of Reece Burns also earned him five goals.
Scoring opportunities were generated by a committed midfield effort, built around the energy, enthusiasm and grunt of midfielders Brett Rice, Daniel Wheeler and Daniel Stocks while Jay Carroll and Spyros Halikis were also under notice throughout.
In E-Grade, Dale Kickett came out of retirement and a host of colts players backed up for a second tilt and almost pulled off an amazing upset against Forrestdale.
Unfortunately, a lack of personnel at the start of the game and an injury or two proved to be obstacles too difficult to overcome and in the end a brave bid for victory was thwarted
The Phil Scott Colts again fell agonisingly short of victory against a quality opponent when, after hitting the lead in the early part of the last quarter, they paid a heavy price for some poor decision making and skill errors.
Collegians eventually win by 13 points, kicking a goal after the siren to create the impression that victory might have been marginally more comfortable than, in reality, it was.
Unfortunately, Jacob Carmody suffered another serious injury which interrupted the Beach’s charge, but there were some outstanding contributions, particularly from Shane Fullwood and Ben Sweeny in defence, Chris Mead at centre half-forward and small forward Sam Waymouth, who provided energy and class in attack.
Additionally, Alex Barden and Nathan Caccamo provided plenty of run through the midfield in addition to the work of captain Kris Hackett.
The best win of the day undoubtedly came from the Brett Jones Colts who upset top side Collegians in the opening match of the day at Charles Riley.
The Beach came out strongly and were in control at half-time before their opponents launched a concerted challenge after the main break.
Thanks to the exploits of Reece Thompson, who kicked four goals – the last of them clinching victory in the final minute – Jake Gomer, Charlie Slatter and Riley Carter the Beach had the poise and confidence to secure an extremely important victory.
North Beach 4.5 7.7 10.8 14.8 92
Collegians 1.2 3.4 4.6 6.10 46
Goals – North Beach: Sitters 5; Potts, Turner 2; Hardwood, Brennan, Boys 1.
Best – North Beach: Brennan, Sitters, Potts, McGinnity.
Collegians 12.9 (81) defeated North Beach 10.13 (73)
Goals – North Beach: Leishman, M.Holbrook 3; Billi, Lorimer, Griffiths, Cassidy 1.
Best Players – North Beach: Perkin, A Langsford, Heap, Hall.
North Beach 4.4 9.7 12.11 17.15 117
Collegians 1.3 3.6 5.7 7.8 50
Goals – North Beach: Keely, Burns 5; Barber 3; Brown, Carroll, Douglas, Halikis 1.
Best – North Beach: Rice, Wheeler, Stocks, Carroll.
North Beach 1.2 6.4 7.5 10.8 68
Collegians 2.4 3.6 6.8 8.11 49
Goals – North Beach: Keely 4; French 3; van Der Kraats, Venus, Pine 1.
Best – Tampian, Venus, van Der Kraats.
Phil Scott Colts
Collegians 2.3 5.6 6.6 9.7 61
North Beach 1.3 3.3 5.5 7.6 48
Goals – North Beach: Mead 3; Barden, Clarke, Kickett, Langsford 1.
Best – North Beach: Fullwood, Mead, Barden, Waymouth, Caccamo, Sweeny.
Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 2.3 6.4 6.5 9.7 61
Collegians 1.1 2.1 5.5 8.7 55
Goals – North Beach: Thompson 4; Gomer, R Carter 2; Duke 1.
Best – North Beach: Thompson, Slatter, R Carter.