By Gary Stocks
The North Beach A-Reserves graduated to the second semi-final with a stirring qualifying final victory over North Fremantle at McGllivray Oval on Saturday.
The Beach resisted a strong third-quarter challenge from the Maggies before some of the experienced heads in line-up clamed down the youth around them, took a collective deep breath and then powered to victory.
North Beach made a flying start to the contest to lead by 25 points at the first change before their opponents began to gradually peg back the advantage, closing to within 14 points at the last change.
With a neat mix of experience and youth, the Beach worked their way clear and now play Trinity Aquinas in a second semi-final at Charles Riley Reserve, a curtain raiser to the A-Grade show-down between North Beach and Whitford with Grand Final berths on the line.
The A-Reserves earned that right, thanks to the efforts of experienced players like Greg Pires, Jackson Harwood and Josh McGinnity, while the more youthful Cale Potts played strongly at centre half-back, Matt Allan impressed with his run and energy through the midfield and Joel Fishlock presented strongly at half-forward.
In addition Tim Langsford was outstanding at full-back.
The 30-point victory – 10.6 (66) to 5.6 (36) – will give Michael Pratt and his boys great confidence going into the clash with TA’s, a club that traditionally does well in the A-Reserves competition.
Unfortunately, the Phil Scott colts season came to a shuddering halt against Trinity Aquinas at Bill Grayden Reserve.
After a competitive opening quarter, the Beach fell away in the middle part of the second term, allowing the opposition to create a match-winning break .
That poor period was exacerbated by a slow start to the third term and while the boys fought determinedly in the final quarter the damage had already been done.
The Beach suffered from some undisciplined football, which cost them several 50 metre penalties and crucial goals.
Trinity Aquinas won almost every position on the ground, although Ben Clark enjoyed the challenge of matching up on one of TA’s prime movers, to win his individual battle. Chris Mead was a standout target up forward, despite often being triple teamed, and the boys did not play smart enough in using open teammates in that situation.
Matt Irvine was also strong at centre half-back, Jacob Griffiths tried to inspire his teammates, while Josh Stott and Jake Robinson made handy contributions.
North Beach 4.3 6.4 7.6 10.6 66
North Frem 0.2 3.3 5.4 5.6 36
Goals – North Beach: Harwood 3; McGinnity, Pires 2; Traegar, Wattleworth, Fishlock 1.
Best – North Beach: Potts, McGinnity, Pires, Allan, T Langsford, Harwood.
Phil Scott Colts
Trinity Aquinas 2.3 7.3 10.5 14.6 90
North Beach 2.1 4.1 5.3 7.4 46
Goals – North Beach: Stott 2; Knott, Barber, Kickett, Mead, Campbell 1.
Best – North Beach: Clark, Mead, Irvine, Griffiths, Stott, Robinson.