Three North Beach teams ventured to Bill Grayden Reserve on Saturday knowing that they faced enormous challenges against Trinity-Aquinas, who were on top in all three grades.
While the Beach did not conquer the challenge, they came away with their pride intact after giving strong performances in all matches.
The Brett Jones Colts confronted an unbeaten opposition and took the game right up to their highly-regarded opponents. Indeed, had the Beach converted more efficiently they could well have been in front at half-time.
Nic Reid was lively through the midfield and in conjunction with Mitch Clarke, Tim Grapiglia, Joel Gray and Terry O’Brien was helping to win the hard ball while Mitch McGovern offered a dangerous marking option deep in attack.
Mat Baker was working well in tandem with McGovern, while Jason Tincknell also worked hard inside the attacking arc. Defensively, Jacob Cropley was under notice along with Max Forslind ensuring North Beach was right in the thick of the game at three-quarter time.
Trailing by two goals at the last change, the young Tigers had the opportunity to apply scoreboard pressure early in the final term, missed that chance and eventually the class of Trinity-Aquinas won through.
The D1 Reserves, bolstered by the presence of four colts who backed up for consecutive matches, threw down the gauntlet to their highly placed opponents.
At half-time, only a few points separated the teams before Trinity-Aquinas put their collective foot to the floor and accelerated away to a 60-point victory – the margin not close to a true reflection of the competitive nature of the contest.
Alex Luck worked hard in the ruck, Joel Gray was outstanding, having played colts earlier, Tim van Der Kraats was reliable in defence while Luke Collins, Daniel Bavcevich and Mitch Christie worked hard through the midfield.
The D1-Grade also ran into the unbeaten Trinity-Aquinas and put the opposition under enormous pressure before slipping to a 20-point defeat.
Had the Beach made the most of early opportunities, the result may well have been different, but they did not get maximum return from the control they enjoyed.
James Foley and Josh Bubnich were terrific in defence while, Jarrad Venus and Daniel Wheeler worked hard through the midfield along with Jacob Griffiths.
The Beach had trouble finding a dominant forward to reap the benefits of that work, though Nick Morling and Mark Foreman did have patches where they threatened to take charge.
The E2 Grade had a tough day at MacDonald Reserve where Whitford proved their master, winning 15.12 (102) to 4.4 (28).
The damage was done through a scoreless second quarter. Sam Keeley managed to kick three of North Beach’s four goals while Gus Barwick and Brett Anthony were also strong contributors.
Trinity Aquinas 9.12 (66) def North Beach 7.4 (46)
Goals – North Beach: Griffiths 2; Morling, Kickett, Wheeler, Venus, Foreman 1.
Best – North Beach: Foley, Bubnich, Wheeler, Venus, Griffiths, Cosgrove.
Trinity Aquinas 16.14 (110) def North Beach 8.2 (50)
Best – North Beach: Collins, Luck, Gray Bavcevich, Christie, van der Kraats.
Brett Jones Colts
Trinity Aquinas 9.11 (65) def North Beach 6.13 (49)
Goals – North Beach: Reid 3; McGovern, Baker, Tincknell 1.
Best – North Beach: McGovern, Reid, Forslind, Tincknell, Gray, Grapiglia.
Whitford 15.12 (102) def North Beach 4.4 (28)
Goals – North Beach: Keeley 3; Perris 1.
Best – North Beach: Anthony, Barwick, Keeley, Cuzens.