By Gary Stocks
Building momentum into the season has been a challenge for the O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Grade outfit in 2015.
Stability from week to week in a selection sense has been problematic with four or five changes being the norm rather than the exception.
This week, that might be a little different and the timing is perfect.
Coming off a pulsating one-point victory against North Fremantle in ugly conditions at Charles Riley Reserve last Saturday it has given the players a sense of buoyancy, some reward for their hard work and commitment.
And they face arguably the biggest challenge the competition can throw at them, with a confrontation with ladder leader Trinity Aquinas at Bill Grayden Reserve on Saturday. TAs boast one of the most accomplished lists in the league, with coach Quinten Lynch and former Fremantle-listed forward Ryan Murphy the headline acts.
In addition there are a number of quality players who have filtered into the club from WAFL ranks in the last 12 months, including Rhett Kerr and David Crawford. If you’re not careful you can get caught up in the names and reputations of the opposition.
Another former West Coast Eagles premiership star, Andrew Embley, is also among the Trinity Aquinas players, but the 2006 Norm Smith medallist plays only when a string of media commitments allow. He has played 50 percent of games this season.
They are just 22 opponents and coach David Hynes will doubtless focus on the unity and commitment of his own team that, for the most part, has played with great resolve this season even when things have not fell for them.
In contrast to the Trinity Aquinas outfit, which boasts some pretty impressive CVs, the youthful North Beach team is littered with young players who are in the process of writing their own.
There has been a healthy element of youth in this team all year and that will again be prominent on Saturday, but a couple of senior players are also likely to return. Experienced swingman Jamie Sajich and ruckman/forward Kyle Cranley are expected to return.
They offer both steel and flexibility – if those traits can possibly be linked – and should help the youngsters negotiate the challenge at hand.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves run into an unbeaten Trinity Aquinas outfit, which is testimony to the club’s depth.
The Beach, however, has been in good form and will look forward to the opportunity of locking horns with the competition benchmark.
The Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts probably go into their encounter as favourites as the club that dominated the underage competition a few years appears to be slightly off the pace.
At Charles Riley Reserve, the Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade and the Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves, will both look forward to bouncing back after four-goal defeats by TAs last week.
The third and fourth grade teams will play North Fremantle at home base, along with the Redhill Brett Jones Colts.
The Express Bins E1-Grade will play Swan Athletic at Fawell Park in the Swan Valley in what looms as an intriguing battle. There are still about 20 players each week missing out on a game because of the strong numbers and coach Novak ‘Jesus’ Smith continues to work miracles around ensuring even opportunities for those in his squad.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Trinity-Aquinas v North Beach, Bill Grayden Reserve, 2.30pm
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
Trinity-Aquinas v North Beach, Bill Grayden Reserve, 12.35pm
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
Trinity-Aquinas v North Beach, Bill Grayden Reserve, 10.40am
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
North Beach v North Fremantle, Charles Riley Reserve, 2.30pm
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
North Beach v North Fremantle, Charles Riley Reserve, 12.35pm
Redhill Brett Jones Colts
North Beach v North Fremantle, Charles Riley Reserve, 10.40am
Express Bins E1-Grade
Swan Athletic v North Beach, Fawell Park, 2.30pm