By Gary Stocks
It was a weekend where the club’s depth and character would be tested.
Having all five senior teams in finals has both advantages and challenges.
Naturally, it is the objective of all teams to play finals. And it was achieved, which was an outstanding result. But when the A-Grade teams played their last qualifying matchesof the year, the three lower grades teams played elimination finals.
With all three teams in action – and with numbers a little thin – all of them were eliminated.
At the same time the A-Grade teams confronted Swan Athletic at Fawell Park. The Nuchange Phil Scott Colts travelled to grape growing country, needing to claw back a win and 23 per cent on fifth-placed Wesley Curtin and they produced a vintage performance.
They dominated throughout, never lost focus on the challenge and won by 146 points. At WA Sports Park, University did the rest with a 10 goal win and, remarkably, the Beach smashed down the door to the finals and will play in the elimination final next Saturday.
Mitch Cameron and Nick Reid kicked six each, but there were dominant players all over the ground, with Swan Athletic kicking their only goal late in the last term.
The Beach will go into that contest with a strong belief, having beaten Trinity Aquinas convincingly the last time the two sides did battle.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves, who had top position locked down, refused to erode the strength of teams below them, despite a long injury list. To alleviate the numbers problem, Club legends Luke Smith and Simon Pearce, playing his 250th club game, were lured out of retirement and a number of colts players, not selected in the Phil Scott team, stepped up to play senior footy.
Although the result would not affect the final standings and the A-Reserves will have a rest next week, the Beach hung tight to win by eight points – 8.12 (60) to 8.5 (53).
With Dion Cownie, Tim Bowdell, James Foley and Ben Sweeney stepping up to the challenge and leading the way, the Beach got away to a strong start before the opposition rallied and threw down the gauntlet.
The result might have had no bearing in terms of next week, but the competitive spirit within the Beach became evident, they responded and won by eight points.
The O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team was also without a number of established players and after a slow start, assumed control against Swan Athletic and then cruised to the line to win by 20 points.
Up by more than seven goals in the early stages of the last quarter, it seemed the players began to think about preserving their bodies for next week’s qualifying final against Wesley Curtin.
After the lethargic opening stanza, the Beach took control through the midfield where ruckman Joe Boys was a strong influence, particularly around the ground, while Matt Power, Mitch Dwyer and Beau Witheridge also lifted.
In defence, Andrew Langsford was outstanding where his decision-making and skill execution were impeccable. He had strong support from Aaron Jarvis and Kyle Holden while up forward Jackson Harwood and Ben Wilson kicked seven goals between them.
Victory was set up with a seven goal second quarter, which turned an 18-point quarter-time deficit into an 11-point advantage.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach 1.2 8.4 12.7 15.11 101
Swan Ath. 4.2 6.5 7.5 12.9 81
Goals – North Beach: Harwood 4; Wilson 3; Griffiths 2; Bollen, Boys, Golisano, Irvine, McGinnity, Witheridge 1.
Best – North Beach: A Langsford, Boys, Power, Dwyer, Jarvis, Holden, Bandy, Witheridge.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 3.4 5.6 7.6 8.12 60
Swan Ath. 0.0 3.1 7.3 8.5 53
Goals – North Beach: Lee 4; Premici 2; Burns, Pearce 1.
Best – North Beach: Cownie, Bowdell, Foley, Sweeny, Stott, Hack.
Nuchange Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 23.15 (153) def Swan Athletic 1.1 (7)
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
Scarborough 9.10 (64) def North Beach 8.5 (53)
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
Wesley Curtin 15.5 (95) def North Beach 5.5 (35)
Express Bins E2-Grade
Kingsley 4.4 6.6 11.7 14.9 93
North Beach 2.1 3.2 3.2 3.4 22
#full details of all games will be posted as they become available