The prospect of another O’Rourke Realty A-Grade premiership remains alive after North Beach defeated Whitford by 37 points in the elimination final at Charles Riley Reserve on Saturday.
The Beach, after a tentative start, settled down to business, held the advantage at quarter-time and built upon the lead in every quarter on the way to a 12.14 (86) to 7.7 (49) victory.
Sadly, that was the only bright note on a day when the club sent out three teams into finals action – with the Townley Group D1-Grade being out-pointed in the second semi-final by Trinity-Aquinas, with Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade losing the first semi-final to Ocean Ridge by one agonising point.
The D1-Grade will fight another day in this week’s preliminary final while the E2-Grade reflects on a season of high achievement, which was thwarted in a luck-less defeat.
In A-Grade clash at Charles Riley Rexserve, the Beach reversed the result of the last home and away game of the season when upset by the Warriors by four points at the same venue. When Whitford kicked the first goal of the return bout in the opening minute, rebounding off half-back, the North Beach faithful might have had flashbacks to the encounter seven days earlier.
The Beach enjoyed dominance from their formidable ruck pairing of Alex Hack and Dave Martin and the dynamic midfield, led by Kyle Riemann, Josh Bollen, Steve Bandy and Mitch Dwyer consistently won the ball forward.
In attack, Aaron Jarvis, Kyle Holden and Jackson Harwood always looked threatening while the defensive effort was built around the experience and strength of Anthony Ingham and Ryan Underwood.
The Beach led by seven points at quarter time, were never headed, and built on that advantage at every change on the way to a victory which will now see them confront Collegians in this week’s first semi-final.
Having finished in fourth position at the end of the qualifying rounds, the Beach will face sudden-death matches as long as their campaign continues. Collegians were out-pointed by University, who will play Trinity-Aquinas in the second semi-final.
The Beach will closely monitor injuries to half-back Adrian Clarke and midfielder Beau Witheridge this week as they look to maintain the finals momentum.
The D1-Grade was soundly beaten by Trinity-Aquinas, 13.7 (85) to 5.2 (32) and will look to re-group ahead of this week’s sudden death clash.
The club will again send out three teams into finals action this week with the Credent Financial Services A-Reserves looking forward to a show-down with TAs. North Beach has been unbeaten in this grade all season and will be looking to secure the direct passage through to the grand final.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach 3.2 7.4 10.8 12.14 86
Whitford 2.1 5.5 7.6 7.7 49
Goals – North Beach: Jarvis, Harwood 3; Bollen 2; Holden, McGinnity, Thompson 1.
Best – North Beach: Thompson, Underwood, Holden, Bollen, Dwyer, McGinnity.
Townley Group D1-Grade
Trinity Aquinas 2.4 5.5 10.6 13.7 85
North Beach 1.1 1.2 3.2 5.2 32
Goals – North Beach: Morling 3; Foreman, Wheeler 1.
Best – North Beach: J Bubnich, M Langsford, M Collins, Morling.
Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade
Ocean Ridge 4.0 7.2 8.3 8.6 54
North Beach 0.1 4.2 6.4 8.5 53
Goals – North Beach: Keeley, Cole 3; Braccia, van der Kraats 1.
Best – North Beach: van der Kraats, Braccia, Barwick, Morrow, Anthony, Keeley.