Adaptability to different conditions and situations separates exceptional teams from the good ones.
And the capacity of the Hybrid Linings North Beach D1-Grade to adjust their game plan, to work as a unit and to get the job done on the first foul day of the 2019 season was a highlight of a day when they ‘lower’ grades owned Charles Riley Reserve.
With the A-Grade teams playing at Morris Buzzacott Reserve, the focus at club headquarters fell on the seven teams who provided great entertainment and energy throughout the day, which was headlined by the club’s third grade team.
In atrocious conditions, the threes played almost the perfect wet weather/windy game. Curtin Wesley won the toss and elected to kick with a gale-force wind. The North Beach midfielders and defenders went in to full shut-down mode and were so effective that the opposition kicked just one goal in 40 minutes of footy with the wind.
After scoring opportunities for Wesley were stymied, the Beach defenders went on the counter-attack, creating scoring opportunities out of the back half, that was central to a commanding victory – 6.9 (45) to 1.7 (13).
Shane Duckworth took on what would normally be the ‘wrong’ side when exiting the 50 by utilising his aggressive running and long kicking. This turned defensive into attack and alongside him, Liam Vardy was outstanding and his tackling pressure was a highlight.
Dean Wilson marshalled the troops through the middle and his last quarter was immense. Matt Seaton is turning into a clearance beast and his work in this regard was fuelled by the ruckwork of Ben De Rosa.
He celebrated his 150th game for the club with his best performance of the season, his last quarter a highlight where his fitness and athleticism were too much for the opposition midfield to control.
But it was up forward that the defining performance of the day was unfolding. Mark Foreman put together his best four-quarter effort of the season in a display of experience and pure desire. Playing across half-forward, Foreman worked hard down the ground to provide a target coming out of defence and then would work just as hard to get back in to the F50 to become an attacking option.
Alongside Mitch Christie who also kicked two goals, Foreman finished his day with two final-quarter goals to put the result beyond doubt.
The Coast to Coast Imports D1-Reserves faced the formidable challenge of a vastly experienced Curtin Wesley outfit, punctuated across the field with former stars who were more than accomplished at senior level.
While the class of the opposition proved superior in the end, the visitors eking out a 39-point win – 10.10 (70) to 5.1 (31), the Beach never conceded and worked hard against the odds.
Sam Zehnder was outstanding while Aaron Ugle, Richard Nguyen and Curtis Hogg typified the grit of the Beach.
Earlier in the day the Indi Bar Brett Jones Colts kicked the day off with a polished display to despatch North Fremantle 16.15 (111) to 3.0 (18).
The Brett Jones Colts put in a strong four-quarter effort in blustery conditions to deliver another resounding victory and consolidate their spot at the top end of the ladder. North Fremantle looked dangerous early but once the North Beach engine room got cranking there was no looking back.
A brilliant long range effort from James Mortimer and a very classy dribble from Alex Thompson were highlights of the day.
Tom McNeill relished the wide open space at Charles Riley, getting off the leash of his defender at will, whilst Flynn Rose continued to show his class with four goals from the midfield.
The Beyond Tools E1-Grade powered home with an outstanding second half to carve out an important 10-point win over Bullcreek-Leeming, 5.5 (35) to 3.7 (25).
The Beach were on the back foot early, losing the toss and going against the wind. Down 3.4-1.0 at quarter-time, that situation was exacerbated when the rain tumbled down when the Tigers had the breeze.
The rest of the game was a hard slog but some third quarter magic from Brett Anthony kicking two goals in a minute turned the game the Tigers’ way.
The last quarter was a continuation of the arm wrestle, with the inside grunt from Rob McComskie, Cam Alco and Jamie Cosgrove surged the ball forward.
James Hay-Hendry made a much-needed cameo to play his 100th game, was also a major factor as the Beach was tougher for longer.
The GJ Osplumb E3-Grade suffered a heart-breaking loss after doing so much of the hard work in a dour battle with Ellenbrook.
Leading for most of the game, a goal from Joel Gray early in the last quarter saw the Beach take a six-point advantage, but Ellenbrook responded and kicked the final two goals of the game to win 5.12 (42) to 4.10 (34).
Despite the great work of players like Will Fryer, Jacob Willis, Steve Clark and midfielders Gray, Mitch Clarke and Jake Marchin-Vincent, the Beach came up short.
Hybrid Linings D1-Grade
North Beach 1.0 1.5 3.5 6.9 45
Curtin Wesley 1.3 1.3 1.7 1.7 13
Goals – North Beach: Foreman, Christie 2; Hughes, Miotti, Henderson.
Best – North Beach: Foreman, Wilson, S Duckworth, Vardy, Seaton, Hall, DeRosa.
Coast to Coast Imports D1-Reserves
Curtin Wesley 4.6 6.7 8.7 10.10 70
North Beach 0.0 1.2 2.2 5.1 31
Goals – North Beach: Zehnder 3; McAuliffe, B Hinkley.
Best – Zehnder, Lang, Hogg, Nguyen.
Indi Bar Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 4.2 8.6 9.11 16.15 111
North Frem 0.0 0.0 2.0 3.0 18
Goals – North Beach: Rose 4; McNeill, Irvine 2; Gamble, Tobin, Artaud, Mortimer, Pollard, Bateup, Thompson, Osborne.
Best – North Beach: Rose, Mortimer, Osborne, Salleo.
Beyond Tools E1-Grade
North Beach 1.0 2.0 4.3 5.5 35
Bullcreek-Leem 3.5 3.5 3.7 3.7 25
Goals – North Beach: Anthony 2; Cavanagh, Green, Alco.
Best – North Beach: Dodd, McComskie, Jongenellis, Anthony, Alco, Cosgrove.
GJ Osplumb E3-Grade
Ellenbrook 1.3 1.4 2.7 5.12 32
North Beach 1.1 3.3 3.8 4.10 24
Goals – North Beach: Gray, Fryer, Bowden, P Rollo.
Best – North Beach: P Clark, Fryer, Willis, M Clarke, Marchin-Vincent, Gray.