By Gary Stocks
Momentum is a wonderful asset in modern sport and it can be difficult to throw into reverse.
The O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team appeared to have the momentum against reigning premier Wesley Curtin in a tight, hard fought encounter at South Oval on Saturday, only to have that momentum interrupted by the three-quarter time siren.
And once stalled, the Beach struggled to get again before falling to a nine-point defeat at the hands of the 2013 premier.
Both teams had a vastly different look to the one that represented them last season and it was a tense arm wrestle from the outset. David Hynes and his cohorts put in place some strategies to avert the slow starts that have plagued them this season and were prepared for a scrap.
That was how the game was played out, but unfortunately the Beach paid a high price for poor skill execution going forward and despite holding the opposition to just seven goals – on a perfect afternoon for football – could not generate enough positive entries from their inside 50 probes.
While the result was disappointing, there were some positives to take out of the game, including the united effort and the individual form of ruckman Alex Hack who played one of his best games for the club, Cody Enders and Louis Davies who were effervescent through the midfield and Beau Witheridge, who led from the front.
Kyle Holden and Christian Bottechia, who played at both ends of the ground, were also solid but the team could not generate the spark it needed in the final term to overhaul their opponents.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves produced a commanding performance, particularly in the second half, when they powered their way to a 55-point victory – 12.8 (80) to 3.7 (25).
After an interesting battle in the first half, the class and depth of North Beach took charge with the likes of Dion Cownie, Josh McGinnity and Josh Stott leading the charge.
In essence the Beach had winners all over the ground, with Jordan Webster too classy and focussed for a nagging opponent on the wing, Jamie Sajich enjoying his first hit-out with the reserves this season and Michael Taylor and Matt Power adding a dose of experience and tenacity to the cause.
Similarly, the Coast to Coast Phil Scott Colts, after an even first half, broke away to score a convincing win.
With Mitch Cameron providing a strong target up forward, kicking five goals, the Beach strolled away to a 48-point triumph.
In addition Joel Brown was outstanding with his run, carry and poise, Mick Hoskins was solid throughout, while Scott Zehnder produced another consistent game and Jamie Rudrum used his midfield pace to break the game open.
At Percy Doyle Oval, the Beach was in control and won all three games, starting with a gritty victory by the Brett Jones Colts.
Trailing by nine points at half-time, the Beach scored four goals to none thereafter to claim four precious premiership points.
Jerome Orr-Young, Richard Nguyen and Max Mairata were key players as the Beach punched out an important victory.
The class and skill of the Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade proved irresistible, with a nine-goal haul from Mitch Holbrook the highlight in a 50-point win – 15.9 (99) to 6.13 (49).
Aside from Holbrook’s masterclass up forward, the return of Chris Perkin and Kyle Riemann was also worth watching while Mitch Christie and Xavier Williamson were among those benefit from the input of some club legends.
The Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves were also central to the Percy Doyle rout, the Beach powering to a 60-point victory after the game had begun in torrential rain.
The Beach midfield took a while to react to the conditions, which led to the defence being under siege from repeat midfield entries. But they were quickly repelled Deon Jacobs, Scott Cheetam, Chris Langsford and Tyson Barry.
After quarter-time John Turner and Brett Rice lifted the midfield work rate to acceptable levels and won the majority of centre clearance for the remainder of the day while Jason Tincknell, across half forward, was exceptional in the wet or dry taking crucial pack marks.
Byron Boys was relentless with his run through the centre of the ground, while Mike Bramley made the most of the space created. Tim Maconachie, who dislocated his shoulder in the first quarter, showed great character and fight to return to the field and have an impact.
A good day for the club was rounded out by the Express Bins E2-Grade, who played under lights at South Oval and proved too strong for Wesley Curtin.
The result was never in doubt after quarter-time with Michael Missikos leading the way.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Wesley Curtin 7.12 (54) def North Beach 6.9 (45)
Goals – North Beach: Harwood, Scantlebury, Hack, Alone, T Langsford, Lamont 1.
Best – North Beach: Holden, Hack, Enders, Davies, Witheridge, Lamont.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 12.8 (80) def Wesley Curtin 3.7 (25)
Goals – North Beach: Kernutt 4; Taylor, Cownie 2; Webster, Campbell, Melvin, Wynne, Sajich.
Best – North Beach: Webster, McGinnity, Stott, Sajich, Campbell, Cownie, Taylor.
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 1.1 5.2 8.2 13.5 83
Wesley Curtin 2.2 2.3 4.5 5.5 35
Goals – North Beach: Cameron 5; McGuire, Zehnder 3; Ellis 2.
Best – North Beach: Brown, Cameron, Rudrum, Hoskins, Zehnder, Farmer.
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
North Beach 5.5 10.8 12.8 15.9 99
Wesley Curtin 3.0 3.4 5.11 6.13 49
Goals – North Beach: M Holbrook 9; Christie, Williamson 2; Riemann, Graham 1.
Best – North Beach: M Holbrook, Scott, Traeger, Christie, Williamson.
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
North Beach 2.6 4.7 7.8 12.16 88
Wesley Curtin 0.1 3.2 4.4 4.4 28
Goals – North Beach: Bramley 4; J Carter 3; Hurley 2; Allan, Boys, Turner 1.
Best – North Beach: Rice, Bramley, Tincknell, Boys, Jacobs, Cheetham.
Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 3.2 5.4 8.4 9.10 64
Wesley Curtin 3.1 7.1 7.6 7.7 49
Goals – North Beach: Evans, Lynch, Peterson 2; Premici, Bryce, Botica 1.
Best – North Beach: Orr-Young, Nguyen, Plakakis, Premici, Mairata.
Express Bins E2-Grade
North Beach 3.2 7.7 10.10 13.11 95
Wesley Curtin 2.1 3.1 3.3 5.3 33
Goals – North Beach: Jopson 4; Holdman 3; Missikos 2; Rondas, Fulton, Smith, Retordi 1.
Best – North Beach: Ferreri, White, Quartermaine.