By Gary Stocks
Most clubs looking to create success are loath to cite luck as one of the key elements in the strategy, but without a slice of it, the ultimate achievement is improbable.
It is true, to some extent, that you make your own luck. The O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Gradre team put itself in the frame, once more, for a shot at the top three, by winning against Swan Athletic last Saturday.
Still, if other matches had gone according to ladder positions and form, that possibility would have remained remote. But Collegians, who currently hold third spot, were beaten unexpectedly by North Fremantle and now sit just a game clear of the Beach.
Nothing can be taken for granted in this ever-changing WAAFL A-Grade competition, but it ensures a thrilling run to the close of the qualifying rounds over the next three weeks.
While those results have opened up the possibilities, the luck was not all in favour of the Beach, with star midfielder Josh Pearce suffering a serious ankle injury early in the match.
With a couple of others also joining the casualty list through the course of the match, North Beach was brave in carving out a 19-point victory on the back of a powerful second half.
Jackson Harwood was outstanding in attack, finishing off his work with six goals, while Kyle Riemann stepped up to the plate, Sam Palm exerted an influence with his exquisite skill and Adrian Clarke provided important defensive rebound.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves again dominated and are starting to build towards the finals, a comprehensive 113-point win continuing their unbeaten run.
Tim Bowdell slammed home four goals, Jacob Griffiths kicked three while Josh McGinnity provided drive and flair, Jake Robinson was outstanding in defence and both Michael Italiano and Ben Wilson exerted a strong influence on proceedings.
The Nuchange Phil Scott Colts appeared to have victory within their grasp when leading by four goals early in the last quarter, but were over-run by Swan Athletic in the last 15 minutes and lost by nine points.
It was the only defeat for the club on an otherwise great day and was extremely disappointing.
Jacob Hackett, Josh Horton-French and Mitch McGovern were all impressive, but too many players made poor decisions and skill errors under pressure, opening the door for their opponents.
The Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts scored an important 46-point victory over Wesley-Curtin, Ben Bubnich proving outstanding with seven goals, while Tim Grapiglia and Riley Carter were also strong contributors.
The Townley Group D1-Grade carried too much fire power for neighbourly rivals Hamersely-Carine, winning by 29 points, but were never threatened after kicking out to a match-winning lead in the first half.
The Clipstar D1-Reserves, who have performed far better than their ladder position would suggest, scored an important win to boost morale, eclipsing Hamersley-Carine by 34 points.
James Hay-Hendry and Jay Carroll kicked seven goals between them while Alex Luck and Ronald O’Neil were also influential.
The Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade also scored an important win over Ocean Ridge.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach 2.5 4.6 9.10 12.13 85
Swan Athletic 4.0 7.3 9.5 10.6 66
Goals – North Beach: Harwood 6; Riemann, Bollen 2; Lee, Jarvis 1.
Best – North Beach: Harwood, Riemann, Palm, Clarke.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 6.1 11.7 16.10 19.15 129
Swan Athletic 0.0 0.0 1.3 2.4 16
Goals – North Beach: Bowdell 4; Griffiths 3; Pearce, Wilson, McGinnity 2; Stockden, Smith, McComiskie, Hall, Italiano 1.
Best – North Beach: McGinnity. Bowdell, Robinson, Italiano, Wilson.
Nuchange Phil Scott Colts
Swan Athletic 3.5 4.6 5.8 10.10 70
North Beach 3.4 3.7 7.7 9.7 61
Goals – North Beach: Hackett, Horton-French, Hutchings, Marchin-Vincent, McGovern, McPhee, Reid, Tincknell, Zampogna 1.
Best – North Beach: Hackett, Horton-French, McGovern, Gray, Collins.
Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 5.2 8.7 10.11 13.14 92
Wesley Curtin 3.1 5.3 6.4 7.4 46
Goals – North Beach: B Bubnich 7; Huggins 2; Carter, Duke, Yelland, Evans 1.
Best – North Beach: Bubnich, Carter, Grapiglia.
Townley Group D1-Grade
North Beach 3.4 8.7 9.8 11.11 77
Ham-Carine 1.1 2.2 6.5 7.6 48
Goals – North Beach: Kickett, Christie 3; Morling, Bottechia 2; Foreman 1.
Best – North Beach: Cosgrove, Campbell, Kickett, Christie, Morling.
North Beach 2.1 3.1 8.2 12.6 78
Ham-Carine 1.3 2.5 5.6 6.8 44
Goals – North Beach: Hay-Hendry 4; Carroll 3; Brown 2; Mahoney, Pope, McEvoy 1.
Best – North Beach: Luck, Hay-Hendry, O’Neil.
Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade
North Beach defeated Ocean Ridge
By Gary Stocks