By Gary Stocks
Ever seen the prank where someone has a $10 note bluetacked to a piece of fishing line and as some random guy comes along, bending down to pick it up, the trickster winds in the line a few inches, teasing him until the subject gives up?
Well, it felt a bit like that for the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team on Saturday against University.
Teased all day and just when it seemed the Beach would edge close enough to be a threat, University would take away the bait, kick a goal and keep the opposition at arm’s length.
The Scholars had all the answers throughout and an edge in class in tricky conditions saw them prevail by 28 points – 11.12 (78) to 8.6 (54).
It was a day where the Beach never gave up, but just couldn’t get close enough or sustain their “A” game for long enough to put their opponents under genuine pressure.
After rain storms belted Percy Doyle Oval through the colts and reserves matches, the rain lifted for the main event, but Uni kicked with the aid of the breeze in the first term, posted a decent score and were never headed.
Despite the best efforts of midfielders Louis Davies, Kody Enders and youngster Nick Bowe, the Beach could not make an impression and when University went forward they always looked threatening.
Again Michael Taylor, Earl Quinlan and Ben Sweeny worked hard in the back half while Christian Bottechia made a solid return up forward and finished with three goals.
Ruckmen Kyle Cranley and Kieren Yakas also worked hard around the ground and hit the scoreboard, but there simply was not enough contributors across the board.
The loss means that last month will be extremely interesting with high stakes in every encounter as the Beach attempts to leapfrog from sixth position into the top five. The challenges start against West Cost Cowan next Saturday.
The Credent Financial Services, hit by injury and absences to the senior squad, again saw an injection of youth and while the persisted against the Scholars they could not find the answers and lost by 34 points.
Mat Baker worked hard through the midfield with Rob Scantlebury while Craig Hall and Alex Luck were solid in defence.
In an effort to generate some quality football, coach Ross Jevons was prepared to throw the team around, with Shane Duckworth playing in the back half and ruck before finishing forward and Ben De Rosa was used in key positions at both ends of the ground.
Finals now look out of reach for the A-Reserves, but there are still some good learning opportunities in the next month.
The Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts also took some valuable learnings on board before, literally, slipping to a nine-point loss to the second-placed University.
In the worst conditions of the day, the colts took a two-goal lead into the final term which was significant given only four goals had been scored in the game to that stage.
Perhaps developing a defensive mindset and aiming to protect the lead, the Beach was under siege for much of the last quarter, made a few defensive errors and lost by nine points. It was a disappointing loss given the Beach had worked so hard for three quarters, but they take away the knowledge they can match it with the best team in the competition.
That will give them some confidence going into finals.
Jack O’Gorman, Ben Evans, Tom DeCourtenay, Jack Dalton, Ned Halley and Brennen Irvine were all strong contributors throughout.
The Brett Jones Colts were the only victorious team for the club, with the thirds and fourths having a bye, and they were convincing winners against Wanneroo.
The Beach was in control throughout and then rammed home the advantage in the final term before surging to a 45-point win.
Mitch Evans kicked three goals, while Josh and Elias Cuzens relished the heavy going at the Showgrounds while Nelson Kennedy and Richard Nguyen were also influential.
The Express Bins E2-Grade were blown away by Brentwood-Booragoon in a disappointing third term and then fell away to a 46-point loss.
Trailing by just 10 points at half-time, the Beach offered little resistance in the “premiership” quarter and now confront three teams sitting above them in the closing rounds.
Ben Amon, Adam Purcell, Dustin van Eule and Dan Mellor were all strong throughout but needed a few more teammates to contribute at the same level to stay in the game for a little longer.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
University 2.5 5.5 9.9 11.12 78
North Beach 0.2 2.4 4.4 8.6 54
Goals – North Beach: Bottechia 3; Cranley 2; Jarvis, McGinnity, Yakkas 1.
Best – North Beach: Enders, Davies, Bowe, Witheridge, Taylor, Cranley.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
University 3.2 9.4 10.7 11.10 76
North Beach 1.3 2.3 4.4 6.6 42
Goals – North Beach: De Rosa 2; Copley, Duckworth, Flynn 1.
Best – North Beach: Baker, Hall, Scantlebury, Luck, Duckworth.
Coast to Coast Phil Scott Colts
University 0.5 0.5 1.6 4.9 33
North Beach 0.3 1.5 3.6 3.6 24
Goals – North Beach: Ekert, Ellis, McGuire 1.
Best – North Beach: O’Gorman, Evans, DeCourtenay, Dalton, Irvine, Hallow.
Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 3.2 6.2 7.9 11.12 78
Wanneroo 1.1 4.2 5.2 5.3 33
Goals – North Beach: Evans 3; Bryce, Collins 2; Hart, Plakakis, Rollo, Turner 1.
Best – North BeachL J Cuzens, Kennedy, E Cuzens, Nguyen.
Express Bins E2-Grade
Brent-Boor 3.2 5.9 10.10 12.15 87
North Beach 2.4 4.5 4.5 6.5 41
Goals – North Beach: Smith 2; Padgett, Missikos, Brown 1.
Best – North Beach: Amon, Purcell, van Eule, Mellor.