By Gary Stocks
Sometimes the early passages of play are indicative of how a game will play out. On other occasions the trend can be averted and a team that looks dominant in the first few minutes drops away.
Sadly, when the O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Grade played West Coast at City Beach Oval last Saturday, West Coast set the early trend and were relentless to the final siren. The upshot was a 76-point loss for the Beach.
Going into a game with no expectations means that disappointment is more easily managed. But North Beach went into this one with a high sense of optimism.
Fresh from a grinding, satisfaction-filled victory against Kalamunda, the Beach was in a positive frame of mind against the Coasters.
But transforming pre-game optimism into on-field performance proved a challenge and the signs were ominous early.
West Coast won the ball away from the stoppages, hunted the ball with vigour, attacked their opponents with venom and consistently forced North Beach into error. After establishing their superiority early, West Coast did not relent.
As good as West Coast was, the Beach was disappointing, but more through execution than effort. The Beach battled hard, but simply did not have the polish to get reward for their out-put.
Fourteen scoring shots yielded just two goals, while the opposition made the most of their chances and always looked threatening.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves maintained their unbeaten record with a come-from-behind triumph over the Coasters. After another sluggish start, the Beach over-ran their opponents, winning by 13 points.
West Coast managed to go inside their attacking half only twice in the last quarter as the Beach, led by youngsters Mitch Cameron, Ryan Ekert and Jordan Gray, restricted the Beach to just one goal after half time.
Veterans Steve Bandy and Anthony “Chookah” Ingham were also influential, combining in one stunning passage in the third quarter which was a game highlight as the Beach transformed defence to attack after Ingham fired out a handpass, Bandy gathered at full tilt and hit a leading target inside 50.
The Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts played with poise and assuredness as they dominated their clash at City Beach Oval.
Developing an understanding of the game plan and benefitting from playing together as a group, they have a sense of their individual roles which is providing the collective result.
Jack Dalton led the way with his aggression at the contest, while Liam Pardini, Nathan Adler, Ben Harbers and James Murray also wielded a strong influence.
Young talent was again to the fore when the Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade maintained their unbeaten record after four rounds, with an outstanding team performance against University.
The Beach won by 48 points, led by Liam Ellis, a product from last year’s colts who kicked six goals. Dion Cownie, Ed Host and Ryan O’Donaghue were exceptional.
The Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves were jolted back to earth when University imposed upon them their first defeat of the season – to the tune of 64 points.
Coach Daniel Wheeler lamented cracks in the team performance that had been papered over against lesser opposition, that were exposed by the quality University outfit.
The Redhill Brett Jones Colts were also easily out-pointed by the Students, while the Express Bins E1-Grade found Yanchep too tough to crack, losing their first game of the season by 56 points.
Christian Angelev, Blake Hurley, Owen Collins, Anthony Mirabile and Steve Jopson did all they could to lift the Beach over the line but could not get the job done.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
West Coast 15.10 (100) def North Beach 2.12 (24)
Goals – North Beach: Bottechia, Webster.
Best – North Beach: Webster, Reid, Dwyer, Witheridge, Davies, Sajich.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 2.2 4.7 6.12 8.14 62
West Coast 3.4 6.7 6.7 7.7 49
Goals – North Beach: Hitchcock 3; Davis, Ekert, Gray, Griffiths, B Irvine.
Best – North Beach: Cameron, Gray, Bandy, Ekert.
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 5.1 7.8 10.12 13.14 92
West Coast 0.1 0.2 1.2 2.2 14
Goals – North Beach: Adler, Lownes 4; Eccles 2; Quinn, Evans, Hoffman.
Best – North Beach: Dalton, Murray, Pardini, Harbers, Lownes, Adler, Evans.
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
North Beach 12.8 (80) def University 4.8 (32)
Goals – North Beach: Ellis 6; Tonus 2; Campbell, Cownie, Quinlan, Host, O’Donaghue.
Best – North Beach: Ellis, O’Donaghue, Cownie, Host.
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
University 5.2 8.3 12.5 15.8 98
North Beach 1.1 3.3 5.4 5.4 34
Goals – North Beach: Potts 2; J Boys, Orr-Young, Christie.
Redhill Brett Jones Colts
University 20.10 (130) def North Beach 1.4 (10)
Express Bins E1-Grade
Yanchep 5.1 7.4 10.7 13.11 89
North Beach 1.1 2.1 3.1 5.2 32
Goals – North Beach: Jopson 5.
Best – North Beach: Angelev, Hurley, O Collins, Mirabile, Jopson.