By Gary Stocks
It was the Divinyls, with Chrissy Amphlett punching out the lyrics, who suggested it was a fine line between pleasure and pain.
Last week, North Beach walked that line against Trinity Aquinas, when defeat almost certainly would have ended finals aspirations. But a nine-point victory has ensured the Beach remains firmly in the race for a final five position.
The pleasure of that victory last Saturday would grow to ecstatic proportions should the Beach eclipse University in tomorrow’s home game at Percy Doyle Oval.
Such is the nature of this absorbing competition that the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team could put itself heavily in the mix for a top three finish should it get over the top of University. Currently sitting in sixth position, the Beach is just one win adrift of the Scholars who are sitting in third place.
So, again, the stakes are high in this match.
It seems there is little respite, no week where you can afford to relax because the consequences of turning up unprepared could be catastrophic, season defining. Likewise, every win is precious, a building block towards something special, perhaps.
The good news is that having made 17 changes in the past three weeks, David Hynes and his match committee has made just two changes for this clash, with two important inclusions.
Co-captain Beau Witheridge resumes along with forward Christian Bottechia and they help to provide the attacking and competitive edge against a highly regarded opponent.
University has been the benchmark of the competition since the Beach last won the A-Grade title in 2010, they have quality players all over the ground and represent a tough challenge. The Beach would expect nothing less and are up for that challenge.
The result of the first encounter of the season at McGillivray Oval means nothing, but the Beach prevailed by one point in a thriller on that occasion. Personnel are likely to be vastly different for both clubs tomorrow, but it promises to be an absorbing battle.
With the Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade and the Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves having a bye, there is sure to be a great atmosphere and hopefully a home ground advantage to provide the winning edge in this clutch game.
While the A-Grade team has had its hurdles to overcome in terms of player availability in the last month, the flow on effect has also knocked the Credent Financial Services A-Reserves around. They find themselves in the predicament where victory over University is a must if they hope to defend the premiership they won last year.
The day at Percy Doyle will start with the Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts tackling the top-of-the-table University in what looms as an absorbing contest. It would be worth making the effort to get to the footy early to catch a glimpse of the quality football the colts are producing.
Meanwhile, the Brett Jones, who are also on a roll, will play Wanneroo at the Showgrounds at 12.30pm and the Express Bins E2-Grade will play Brentwood Booragoon at Charles Riley Reserve at 2.30pm.
Saturday, July 26
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach v University, Percy Doyle Oval, 2.30pm
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach v University, Percy Doyle Oval, 12.35pm
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
North Beach v University, Percy Doyle Oval, 10.40am
Brett Jones Colts
Wanneroo v North Beach, Wanneroo Showgrounds, 12.40pm
Express Bins E2-Grade
North Beach v Brentwood Booragoon, Charles Riley Reserve, 2.30pm