Beach Finds Top Gear

Misfiring for three quarters, the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade finally got rolling into a more fluid style of game to round off preparations for the finals series with a commanding 40-point victory over Kingsway last Saturday.

To begin with it felt like the Beach were like a T-Model Ford trying to manually crank the engine which occasionally spluttered to life before cutting out.

But after the last change, when leading by just four points, the Beach found the sweet spot on the way to an important victory – 14.13 (97) to 8.9 (57) in readiness for an elimination final show-down with Trinity-Aquinas this week.

While the early frustrations might have frustrated coach Ryan McKenzie, he would have been satisfied with the authority with which the Beach finished the task.

Unable to get it all humming initially, the hard work of a core group of players was followed by others. Sam LamontRiley SaundersJack Beverley and Brayden Lawler kept the Beach in it and with a wave of support finished with a six-goal last quarter.

The Lifenet A-Reserves had no such issues, dispensing with Kingsway in the most emphatic fashion, winning 25.9 (159) to 1.1 (7).

With a near full senior squad the Beach fielded one of their best teams for the season and were expected to dominate against the bottom.

Again, it was more about the method than the margin with all players remaining focussed, playing their role and keeping to the team plan and structure.

Adam Swain was hard out of the gates after returning from the league sided and was instrumental in a seven goal to nothing first quarter. Alongside Nathan Adler (eight goals) and the rest of the forward line, the Beach worked well to convert from inside 50s.

The midfield was dominant giving the Tigers first use of the ball as well as defending on transition with Nick Bowe leading the charge. Captain Conor Boylan played his best game for the season and led a backline that had the balance between defence and attack perfect on the day.

The Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts were also dominant against Kingsway, marching to a 111-point triumph.

The Beach carried too much class, dominating field position which ensured the game was played in their half. The end result was 32 scoring shorts to one and a scoreline that read 17.15 (117) to 1.0 (6).

Peter Coles and Cody Connell made the most of the constant supply kicked six goals apiece while Brodie Everett continued his excellent run of form in the ruck, Jack QuartermaineJosh Moses and Noah Coutas controlled the engine room while James Cameron was outstanding on a wing.

When required Jared Thompson and Ben Perkin patrolled the defensive half with great authority.

The Beach takes good momentum into the finals series after winning their last six games.

O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach      2.5         5.7         8.10       14.13    97
Kingsway            2.1         6.3         8.6           8.9       57
Goals – North Beach: Lamont, Garcia, McCarthy, Beverley 2; Saunders, Reid, Leishman, Gill, Tothill, Halley.
Best – North Beach: Lamont, Saunders, Beverley, Lawler, Wells, Cranley.

Lifenet A-Reserves
North Beach      7.3         15.6       20.7       25.9       159
Kingsway            0.1         0.1        0.1          1.1          7
Goals – North Beach: Adler 8; Lucassen 5; Swain 4; Ekert, Josh Chapman 2; Webster, Campbell, Edwards, McKenzie.
Best – North Beach: Swain, Adler, Boylan, Bowe, Lucassen, Edwards.

Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
North Beach      4.4         8.6         12.11    17.15    117
Kingsway            0.0         1.0         1.0          1.0          6
Goals – North Beach: Coles, Connell 6; O’Shea 2; Prior, Sparks, Elliott.
Best – North Beach: Connell, Coles, Everett, Quartermaine, Moses, Coutas, Cameron, Thompson.

Lower Grades Advance

Regardless of the level, with raised stakes in finals football so too is the intensity lifted.

And that was clearly evident in the lower grade finals, particularly for the club’s Hybrid Linings C4-Grade that confronted Forrestdale for the second successive week.

Having comfortably accounted for their opponents in the last qualifying round, clearly Forrestdale would be looking for a way to atone. They took the physical approach.

Forrestdale turned up with new faces and showed their hand early on with some big hits around the ground. But to a man, the Beach continued to play the ball and apart from five minutes in the second quarter, they never surrendered the lead.

Joel Temm and Jack Merson were supreme down back, constantly depriving Forrestdale of scoring opportunities while Jamie Bennett and Marc Crisp continued to win the contest in the middle of the ground and propel the ball forward.

Inside the forward 50, Mitch Cameron (five goals) and Josh Cameron (two) capitalised on the opportunities and their accuracy and potency proved the difference in the end as the Beach endured by 24 points.

The Beast Carpet Cleaning C4-Reserves set the tone from the outset, purveying a positive mindset from the first bounce on their way to a 28-point triumph over Fremantle CBC.

Nic Baroni kicked the first goal of the game from a 50-metre penalty and after that the Beach held CBC scoreless for the term. The remainder of the match was a tight affair with the first quarter dominance giving North Beach a lead that we held for the remainder of the game.

Peter Hiotis was brilliant in the midfield, and ably assisted by Alex Coleman in the ruck. Vaughn Quinlan kicked three crucial first half goals, whilst Mitch Hunt continued his strong form as a pressure forward. Baroni and Josh Tickner were solid all day in defence.

The GJ Osplumb E4-Grade also advanced with a solid 22-point victory over Carlisle.

Hybrid Linings C4-Grade
North Beach      5.2         7.2         10.4       13.8       86
Forrestdale        1.4         6.5         8.7        9.8        62
Goals – North Beach: M Cameron 5; Rollo, J Cameron, McColgan 2; Hall, J Brooks.
Best – North Beach: Temm, Bennett, Merson, Crisp, M Cameron, J Cameron.

Beast Carpet Cleaning C4-Reserves
Qualifying Final
North Beach      4.4         6.6         9.8         10.10    70
Fremantle CBC  0.0         2.3         4.3         6.6        42
Goals – North Beach: Quinlan 3; M Hunt, Ryan, Zehnder 2; Baroni.
Best – North Beach: Hiotis, Quinlan, M Hunt, Coleman, Baroni, Tickner.

GJ Osplumb E4-Grade
Qualifying Final
North Beach 11.9 (75) def Carlisle 7.11 (53)

Strong Progress, But No Dream

It started as a day where dreams could be realised. Where momentum could be continued and the rise of the North Beach women’s football program would continue to evolve.

Visualising the events of the day focused on winning elimination finals in both grades, advancing and getting stuck into the thick of the finals series.

Unfortunately, their opponents had the same vision and they endured in contrasting fashion, being slightly better on the day.

With the immediate let-down of defeat now a little less painful, the entire women’s squad should take great heart from their achievements this season. Big strides forward were taken and there was much to like about the way they represented themselves and the club.

The Synkro A-Grade Women ran into the slick University combination and found them a little too experienced and finals hardened as the Scholars ran out 27-point victors – 6.3 (39) to 1.6 (12).

While the Beach competed hard all day hitting the scoreboard and getting a tangible return from effort proved problematic.

Abby Maynard and Ellen Duncan worked hard on the wings, Lara Turner and Amelia Davies were solid down back while Karry Plummer rucked with aplomb and Sara Lewis provided a presence in attack.

The C4-Grade found Cockburn Cobras to be a little more efficient, with scoreboard pressure proving elusive for the Beach.

Down by two goals at the main break, the Beach regrouped after half time and came out firing, kicking a goal early through Sharni Kuenen and controlling a lot of the play in the midfield.

Hannah Campbell took on a tagging role of the Cobras most influential midfielder and shut down her influence, allowing tough as nails midfielders Bec MirchefAnna Laycock and Chelsea Cowling to win the ball and move it into our 50.

The Beach forward line took advantage of that service and outran the Cockburn defence.

Darian Astone played one of her best quarters of the season, tackling hard and making life difficult for the Cockburn wingers to do their jobs. The Beach backline, led by captain Billie Armstrong, was resolute in defence and Kellie Holden’s marking across half back was a highlight.

The team went into the last quarter with less than a kick in it, but two quick passages of play saw the Cobras score two goals that ended the Beach’s campaign for 2022.

Synkro A-Grade Women
First semi-final
University           2.1         4.1         5.2         6.3         39
North Beach      0.1         0.3         0.5         1.6         12
Goals – North Beach: Elliss.
Best – North Beach: Maynard, Turner, Davies, Duncan, Plummer, Lewis.

C4-Grade Women
First semi-final
Cockburn            1.1         2.1         2.1         4.2         26
North Beach      0.1         0.1         1.2         1.2         8
Goals – North Beach: Kuenen.
Best – North Beach: Holden, Cowling, Mirchef, Campbell, Astone.