It was always going to take time to mesh a high volume of new faces into a team. And the indicators are that the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team is starting to develop the understanding that transforms individual talent into a united collective.
The Beach won for the fourth time in six games when despatching North Fremantle with a disciplined and controlled performance at Charles Riley Reserve last Saturday.
In doing so the club consolidated a position in the WA Amateur Football League top five, jumping out to an early ascendancy and kicking the first five goals of the opening term before North Fremantle settled into the contest and kicked two goals to keep them in touch at quarter time.
The Tigers enjoyed midfield supremacy, was steady in the back half and had a number of goal-kicking options available when moving inside scoring territory as it won an important encounter 13.10 (88) to 6.9 (45).
On a day when the club celebrated the 10th anniversary of its 2002 premiership and also marked Gary Tait Day – in honour of a club stalwart who was assaulted and died outside a Hong Kong bar 15 years ago – the biggest crowd of the season was on hand to see perhaps the club’s best four-quarter effort.
Chris Casey returned to the team and won the Tait Medal as best afield while Josh Pearce and Matt Power were also weighty contributors through the middle and Anthony Ingham was resolute in defence.
In attack Jackson Harwood, Kyle Holden and Sam Palm converted strongly and helped to create the impression the Beach is poised to launch a strong assault on the finals, though we are just beyond the mid-season mark.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves were expecting a challenge from North Fremantle – and they were not disappointed.
After being in control at half-time, the unbeaten record of the Tigers was under threat when the Maggies stepped up the tempo and nudged to within a point just before three-quarter time.
That was the trigger for the Beach to lift and they rallied to win by 22 points. Perhaps the most encouraging factor in that response was that several of the club’s younger players – Liam Vardy, Josh Stott and Ned Melvin were at the forefront of the success.
Ben Wilson also kicked three goals and James Lee made an impressive start to senior football with the club.
Unfortunately the colts were decimated at the weekend, with 20 players from the squad being unavailable because of holidays during the University break or through injury. That situation clearly impacted the performances, but those who remained fought the good fight.
The Nuchange Phil Scott Colts were aided by the inclusion of three 17-year-olds from the junior club – Zach Wood, Elias Cousins and Shaun Arnup, all of whom acquitted themselves well.
After being over-whelmed in the first half, the Beach showed the desired grit after half-time, out-scoring the Maggies after the main break, although still receiving end of an eight-goal loss.
Joel Gray and Jacob Fitzroy performed run-with roles with god effect, Nic Reid was energetic through the midfield, Nathan Willmott was good at both ends of the ground and Reece Messenger defended bravely. Tom Begley was thrust into the ruck in the second half and relished the opportunity.
Mt Lawley eclipsed the Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts by a similar mrgin.
The Hawks Mt lawley seemed to have a greater desire to win the contested football and continually were first to the ball. North beach showed some fight after half time, however, due to poor skill execution the Beach were never able to chase down the head start of 5 goals given to Mt lawley in the first half.
The Townley Group D1-Grade, as expected, was too strong for Mt Lawley and carved out an emphatic 61-point win. While it was a spasmodic effort, the Beach always had the game in control and kicked six goals to none in the last term to deliver the exclamation mark.
Adam Miotti, Blake Hurley, Nick Morling, Rob Ewen and Curtis Hogg were consistent throughout, with Morling and Mitch Rankine proving reliable targets up forward and kicking seven goals between them.
The Clipstar D1-Reserves, unfortunately, were out-classed by Mt Lawley and lost by 73 points.
The Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade scored an important victory, beating a fellow top four contender by an emphatic 125 points – 20.14 (134) to 1.3 (9).
With Sam Keeley running amok out of the square and kicking eight goals, on the back of some terrific supply, the Beach had the game within its keeping by half-time when leading by 84 points.
North Beach 5.3 7.3 10.6 13.10 88
North Frem 2.2 2.6 3.7 6.9 45
Goals – North Beach: Harwood, Holden, Palm 2; Casey, A Langsford, McGinnity, S Pearce, Power, Witheridge, Riemann 1.
Best – North Beach: Casey (Tait Medal), Ingham, J Pearce, Power.
North Beach 2.2 6.3 6.4 9.10 64
North Frem 1.2 1.4 5.5 6.6 42
Goals – North Beach: Wilson 3; Lee, Potts 2; Billi, Bowdell 1.
Best – North Beach: Vardy, Stott, Melvin.
Nuchange Phil Scott Colts
North Frem 3.3 10.5 13.6 15.11 101
North Beach 0.3 1.4 5.6 7.8 50
Goals – North Beach: Zampogna Reid 2; Gray, Horton-French, Winterton 1.
Best – North Beach: Gray, Fitzroy, Reid, Willmott, Messenger, Begley.
Tuck Brett Jones Colts
Mt Lawley 10.18 (78) def North Beach 4.5 (29)
Best – North Beach: Grapiglia, Bubnich.
North Beach 2.3 7.8 9.10 15.13 103
North Frem 1.2 1.4 5.5 6.6 42
Goals – North Beach: Morling 4; Rankine 3; Traeger 2; Burns, Campbell, Douglas, Hurley, Piggott, Raymond 1.
Best – North Beach: Miotti, Hurley, Morling, Ewen, Hogg.
Mt Lawley 16.11 (107) def North Beach 5.4 (34)
North Beach 6.3 13.7 16.10 20.14 134
Wesley-Curtin 1.0 1.1 1.1 1.3 9
Goals – North Beach: Keeley 8; Perris, King 3; O’Brien 2; M Bourke, J Bourke, Elliott, Clarke.
Best – North Beach: Anthony, Pike, King, Elliott.