By Gary Stocks
End of the road for some, start of the excitement for others. That was the scenario for North Beach across seven grades on Saturday.
Unfortunately for the E2 and D1 teams it was season over, but they finished the season boldly.
Peter Panagopolous took his E2 boys down to Kenwick, knowing numbers were skinny. Some of the colts boys who had backed up in recent weeks were unable to take the road trip because of an early time slot.
So Pana and his crew started with 14, lost one more to a knockout and even with just 13 against a full complement, lost by only four goals.
Kane Kuenen’s D1 combination secured a 200-point turn around on their first round performance when Whitford made the most of a delayed start for A-Grade teams and played a quality outfit.
The thirds finished the season in fifth position, but scored an important 31-point victory over the team that will finish the qualifying rounds in fourth place.
Jordan Kickett and Josh Barber provided good targets up front while Dylan Niblett and Michael Collins provided strong run out of the back half. Ruckman James Hay-Hendry was also dominant while Simon Ongley and Byron Boys were consistent and strong.
The D1-Reserves were on the end of an 85-point drubbing against Whitford and will likely butter up against the same opposition next week in the first semi-final.
It was a disappointing performance, but Lloyd Miller played exceptionally well and rucked all day with Chris Langford stout in defence and the versatile Josh Stretch played well.
Meanwhile, at Macdonald Reserve, the A-Grade teams scored three emphatic victories.
In the senior match, North Beach needed to win to keep alive the prospect of playing a home final in the first week, with a 52-point triumph.
The Beach were never threatened and had dominant players all over the ground. Mitch Dwyer and Andrew Langsford combined brilliantly through the middle with Kyle Riemann while Dan Leishman was lively up forward with Joe Boys and Jackson Harwood.
Down back, the ever reliable Anthony “Chooka” Ingham was in fine touch and in conjunction with Aarn Jarvis thwarted many of the Warriors’ attacking moves.
It was a similar story in the A-Reserves where North Beach maintained top spot on the ladder, led by veterans Chris Perkin and Mitch Holbrook.
Perkin wound back the clock and was clearly best afield while Holbrook kicked five goals, Rob McComiskie planted himself at the feet of Holbrook and milked four goals while Ben Clarke and Reece Burns were lively through the middle and Shane Duckworth was solid in the last line.
The Phil Scott Colts faced a must-win game and after a relatively even first half, kicked away to win by 47 points.
Those who managed to get t the ground early enjoyed the performance of draft prospect Shannon Taylor, who was released by Claremont, and produced some classical skills, along with Keegan Knott.
Kade Golisano and Ryan Antonelli set the tone by winning the hard ball, while defensively Ben Sweeney, Josh McDairmid and Gus Barwick were terrific and both Mark Foreman and Jordan Kickett rose to the challenge up forward.
Aaron Botica also had an impact in a variety of roles while Chris Mead and Adam Miotti were effective mobile tall targets.
North Beach 3.5 8.10 9.14 12.20 92
Whitford 1.1 2.2 4.8 5.10 40
Goals – North Beach: Boys, Harwood, Riemann 2; Dwyer, Leishman, McGinnity, Potts, Sitters, Wilson 1.
Best – North Beach: Dwyer, Langsford, Leishman, Ingham, Jarvis.
North Beach 3.2 6.5 10.8 13.12 90
Whitford 1.3 3.4 6.6 6.11 47
Goals – North Beach: M Holbrook 5; McComiskie 4; Clarke 2; Fishlock, Irvine 1.
Best – North Beach: Perkin, McComiskie, M Holbrook, Clarke, Burns, S Duckworth.
North Beach 4.4 7.4 8.7 9.7 61
Whitford 0.1 4.1 4.1 4.6 30
Goals – North Beach: Kickett 3; Barber 2; Keeley, McEvoy, Rhatigan, Sharrinovksi 1.
Best – North Beach: Niblett, Collins, Ongley, Hay-Henry, Boys.
Whitford 2.1 6.6 10.6 15.11 101
North Beach 1.3 1.3 1.7 1.10 16
Goals – North Beach: Brown 1.
Best – North Beach: Miller, Stretch, C Langsford.
Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 3.2 6.3 8.8 13.10 88
Whitford 2.0 4.4 5.6 6.5 41
Goals – North Beach: Foreman 3; Kickett, Taylor 2; Botica, Clark, Fullwood, Knott, Mead, Waymouth 1.
Best – North Beach: Golisano, Antonelli, Sweeney, Taylor, Fullwood, Knott, McDiarmid, Foreman.
Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 4.0 4.3 8.5 8.5 53
Fremantle CBC 1.2 1.4 1.5 8.2 50
Goals – North Beach: R Carter, Gangemi, Jackson 2; Grapiglia, Ostle 1.
Best – North Beach: R Carter, Grapiglia, Siegwart, J Carter.