Beach rebounds in semi

Dan Leishman provided strong leadership in the A-Grade victory.

A response was required. It came.

After a disappointing qualifying final defeat to Kingsway, the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team faced a sudden death final against University and knew they would need to step it up.

They did that with an outstanding effort against the Scholars, winning 11.13 (79) to 5.7 (37) to advance to a re-match with Kingsway in this week’s preliminary final, the Roos losing the second semi-final to Curtin University-Wesley.

After falling to defeat in a high octane game against Kingsway, where the ball pinged from end to end with mesmerising efficiency, the Beach needed to produce a game more commensurate with finals footy against University and it came, with the senior players setting the bench mark early in the contest.

Defender Dan Leishman, midfielder Sam Lamont, forward Andrew McGuinness and defender Luke Symonds were all outstanding, enabling the Beach to settle early, establish an early advantage and build on that throughout the contest to ensure they were never under threat.

With x-factor forward Nic Reid also on song, kicking five goals, Dylan Brockbernd playing an important team role and the likes of Steve Mansfield and James Garcia also wielding a strong influence the Beach is now a win away from another Grand Final appearance.

Clearly the last hurdle will take some clearing as Kingsway has won the last two matches between the clubs.

Meanwhile, at South Oval, the Lifenet A-Reserves became the fourth North Beach team to qualify for a Grand Final with a stunning and methodical dissection of Curtin University-Wesley in the second semi-final.

They are shooting for a remarkable fifth consecutive flag at this level, with their entry to the big dance coming after the club’s thirds, fourths and fifths all booked their places in season deciders that will be played on Saturday – a week ahead of the A-Grade’s big day.

Again emphasising the club’s depth, the Beach dominated from the outset in winning 9.10 (64) to 0.5 (5). To hold the opposition goal-less in a back final at their home ground was testimony to the pressure and heat they took to the contest.

Ruckman Josh Chapman and midfielder Nic Bowe, who filled the top two positions on the podium in the A-Reserves voting at the PFL Awards on Monday night, again exerted a strong influence, ensuring a steady flow of opportunity inside the forward half.

Nathan Adler, Nick Wells and Tim Edwards were strong performers and dangerous around goal, while Chris Wells, experienced midfielder Josh Stott and developing defender Jack Merson were also eye-catching in what was a sublime team performance.

O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
First Semi-Final
North Beach       2.2          6.7          9.8          11.13     79
University           1.2          1.3          4.6          5.7          37
Goals – North Beach: Reid 5; Ekert 2; Brockbernd, Lamont, Leishman, McGuinness.
Best – North Beach: Leishman, Reid, Lamont, McGuinness, Brockbernd, Garcia, Mansfield.

Lifenet A-Reserves
Second Semi-Final
North Beach       1.2          4.6          8.6          9.10        64
Curtin Wesley    0.1          0.2          0.3          0.5           5
Goals – North Beach: Adler, Edwards, N Wells 2; Johnson, Cownie, Bowe.
Best – North Beach: Bowe, Chapman, Stott, N Wells, C Wells, Merson.

Beach prominent at awards

Josh Chapman….recognised for an outstanding year by winning the A-Reserves Grand Final.

There was a distinctive North Beach flavour to the Perth Football League annual presentation night at Crown Ballroom last night.

Not only did the club have three individual winners in their respective fairest and best counts, but club legend Chris Perkin was inducted into the Hall of Champions.

Josh Chapman (A-Reserves), Joel Brown (C5-Reserves) and Fletcher Cooke (E2-Grade) each walked away with fairest and best medallions, franking outstanding seasons for the teams they represented with distinction through the year.

And then Perkin – aka The King – was inducted into the Hall of Champions, recognising a remarkable 288-game career at North Beach that saw him play in 10 A-Grade premierships. He joins other North Beach stars recognised in the past, including Brian Kiely, Bill Duckworth and David Perry.

Other individuals to poll strongly included Nic Bowe, who was runner-up in the A-Reserves behind Chapman, while Jordan Brooks was runner-up in the C5-Grade.

A call to arms

It’s time to engage the North Beach army!

As the battle for glory intensifies, the club’s legion of members and supporters need to replicate seasons past, get in number and voice and urge our teams to victory.

The 19th man for North Beach has carried the club across the line in big finals in the past and with the heat rising at the same rate as the stakes on offer, it’s time to get out in force. (Vocal support is encouraged, but keep language in check and maintain respect for the opposition. Support our teams as strongly as you like).

It all ramps up from tomorrow; three teams advanced to the lower grade grand finals last Saturday and we have the club’s two senior teams in action tomorrow.

The O’Rourke Realty A-Grade plays in the first semi-final against University at Charles Riley Reserve while the Lifenet A-Reserves play in the second semi-final against Curtin University-Wesley at South Oval.

The A-Grade team, having finished the season in second position with just one defeat, is now in the situation of taking the ‘survive and advance’ mindset with another sudden death final the reward should the Beach win this clash.

And clearly the Scholars represent a significant challenge as they produced some of their best football of the season at the back end of the year.

While disappointed with the result in last week’s qualifying final, losing by 10 points to Kingsway at home, the quality of the football was exceptional, although the Beach will be looking for a stronger presence around the stoppages.

To that end, the inclusion of Steve Mansfield will help as he returns from an ankle injury that ruled him out last week.

Shane Paap will also be looking for a little more from some of the senior players who were down last week. Mitch Dwyer did all he could and had good support from ruckman Mitch Mackenzie, forward Nic Reid and defenders Christian Bottechia, Ned Halley and Dan Leishman but too many fell short of their usual benchmarks.

The Lifenet A-Reserves will be looking to become the fourth North Beach team to advance directly to the grand final, having finished the season unbowed at the top of the table.

Unfortunately, by quirk of fate, they play Curtin-Wesley at South Oval, the opposition’s home deck, because their senior team finished on top of the table and will host Kingsway in the A-Grade second semi-final.

They should have the capacity to handle that situation as they search for a fifth straight reserve grade premiership under Scott Holbrook.

O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
First semi-final
North Beach v University, Charles Riley Reserve, 2.30pm

Lifenet A-Reserves
Second semi-final
North Beach v Curtin University-Wesley, South Oval, 12.35pm

Boom! Triple GF treat

Work horse ruckman Tom De Courtenay gave his midfield first use of the ball for the Hybrid Linings C5-Grade.

5-4-3-2-1….Boom! Three of the club’s lower grade teams launched their finals campaigns in spectacular fashion last Saturday.

The qualifying rounds are there for the purpose of building a launch pad at the business end of the season and the Hybrid Linings C5-Grade, Beast Carpet Cleaning C5-Reserves and Beyond Tools E2-Grade all capitalised last Saturday.

Each of those teams won second semi-finals to advance straight to the Grand Final where they have the luxury of having a rest this weekend and begin preparations for their opponents.

The thirds and fourths both finished at the top of the table and played second at Charles Riley Reserve last Saturday – the C5-Grade against a North Fremantle team that had received a healthy injection of talent and the fourths against the only team to beat them during the year – Curtin University-Wesley.

After a tight first half the energy and enthusiasm of a young North Beach outfit saw the thirds claw their way to a gritty 23-point victory  – 10.11 (71) to 7.6 (48).

Down by nine points at half-time the Beach stuck to their guns and with seven goals to two after the main break powered their way to victory.

Ruckman Tom De Courtenay continued his rich vein of form and with the experience and composure of Matt Irvine and Matt Holden around the footy, the Beach began to take charge.

Capitalising on the wave of opportunities – as they have done all season – Mitch and Josh Cameron were ubiquitous up forward, kicking three goals apiece.

The C5-Reserves confronted their nemesis, but got the job done with a dominant display from start to finish – holding Wesley goal-less in the first half on the way to winning 10.7 (67) to 5.9 (39).

The first quarter was hotly contested, with minimal scoring opportunities for both sides, which became a pattern as each set up very well defensively and intercepted a lot of forward entries.

As the game progressed the Beach started to get the better of Wesley in some contests and were able to capitalise on this with some scoreboard pressure. Nic Baroni played an outstanding game with a new role as a lockdown defender on a very dangerous opponent, giving him little space all day, and completely nullifying his impact on the game.

Isaac Seidner threatened to tear the game apart on multiple occasions, and kicked a crucial goal deep in the forward pocket in the second half. Kahlil Campbell started the game up forward and exhibited brilliant defensive pressure, but with an injury to a defender late in the first quarter was thrown down back and was equally effective.

Vaughn Quinlan kicked three goals up forward and was particularly effective getting front and centre to contests throughout the game while the midfield group including Joel Brown, David Purser and Jack Stevens were exceptional, winning the contested battle for the day.

The Beyond Tools E2-Grade, who made their way into the second semi-final against Bassendean by virtue of an unforgettable qualifying final victory, carried that momentum forward to advance after another absorbing battle.

It was not as dramatic as the double over-time, last gasp win a week earlier but it still pushed the heart rate through the roof.

The Beach, buoyed by the knowledge that their best is good enough to win against any opposition, strode immediately to the grand final with a 5.5 (35) to 3.7 (25) triumph.

The usual suspects – Joel Temm, Fletcher Cooke, Jayden Hunt and Connor Goodin – were all prominent, along with the QF hero Tim Langsford and Jacob Willis.

Hybrid Linings  C5-Grade
Second Semi-Final
North Beach      2.4         3.7         5.10       10.11    71
North Frem        2.2         5.4         6.5           7.6       48
Goals – North Beach: M Cameron, J Cameron 3; Burton, Brooks, N Wells, Black.
Best – North Beach: De Courtenay, Holden, Irvine, J Cameron, M Cameron.

Beast Carpet Cleaning C5-Reserves
Second Semi-Final
North Beach      1.0         4.3         5.6         10.7       67
Curtin-Wesley   0.2         0.5         2.7         5.9        39
Goals – North Beach: Quinlan 3; Rollo 2; Miotti, Seidner, Purser, Dunjey, Wickstein.
Best – North Beach: Baroni, Seidner, Campbell, Quinlan, Brown, Purser, Stevens.

Beyond Tools E2-Grade
Second Semi-Final
North Beach 5.5 (35) def Bassendean 3.7 (25)
Goals – North Beach: Goodin 3; Kuppens, Hingston.
Best – North Beach: Temm, Cooke, Hunt, Goodin, Langsford, Willis.


Bitter, sweet day for Beach

Captain Mitch Dwyer led from the front, but it wasn’t enough to get over the line.

It was a bitter-sweet day for the North Beach Football Club last Saturday.

Bitter in the sense that the season ended for both the club’s colts teams and that the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade outfit lost a qualifying final, but at least the seniors live to fight another day.

Sweet – because three teams won second semi-finals and have earned direct entry into their respective grand finals (full match reports and details to follow).

The A-Grade match, which saw the Beach tackle third-placed Kingsway at Charles Riley Reserve, presented an opportunity for them to advance to the second semi-final, but they found Kingsway to be a little too clean and efficient on the day.

It was the second time this season the Roos proved a little too slick for North Beach, winning 14.5 (89) to 11.13 (79). While it would be too simple suggest the result was determined by goal-front (in)accuracy, it was a factor.

The Beach had more of the ball inside their forward half, but did not make the most of their opportunities while Kingsway, conversely, were deadly in front of goal. They also managed to cut the forward 50, with the majority of their entries being in a position where they were highly probable to convert.

Beach skipper Mitch Dwyer and ruckman Mitch Mackenzie were outstanding, but there were a lot of North Beach players who fell short of their own expectations.

Christian Bottechia was solid across half-back, Nic Reid kicked three goals and was the most threatening forward while Ned Halley and Dan Leishman also tried all they could to propel their team over the line.

The Beach now plays University in a sudden-death first semi-final against University at Charles Riley Reserve.

The Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts had a rough finish to the season, playing the best teams in the competition over the last month of the qualifying rounds before running into Curtin University-Wesley in the elimination final.

The Beach boys were just marginally short of the pace-setters in the competition, but took the game right up to Curtin before the opposition edged clear to win 10.6 (66) to 7.6 (48).

As has been the case in recent years, a younger North Beach team ran into a mature opponent, but players like Justin Prior, Matt Coleman and Nathan Perry, who set high standards throughout the season, continued to will their team across the line.

Chris Papadopoulos, Kobi Martin and Jason Rocke, others who had outstanding seasons, sustained that form despite the outcome.

The Indian Ocean Hotel Brett Jones Colts, who had been exemplary from in the six weeks leading into the finals, found Swan Athletic a little too strong in the first semi-final, reversing the result from a fortnight earlier.

Again the Beach made a bright start, led by five points at half-time, but couldn’t match Swan Athletic at half-time, going down by 30 points – 9.8 (62) to 4.8 (32).

George Mortimer was lively up forward and Rhys Irvine was also solid, but Swan Ath had all the answers.

O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Qualifying Final
Kingsway             4.0          8.1          11.2        14.5        89
North Beach       3.5          4.8          9.12        11.13     79
Goals – North Beach: Reid 3; Mackenzie, M Dwyer 2; Lamont, Ekert, Garcia, McGuinness.
Best – North Beach: M Dwyer, Mackenzie, Bottechia, Reid, Halley, Leishman.

Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
First Semi-Final
Curtin-Wesley   3.0          6.2          8.4          10.6        66
North Beach       4.1          4.2          5.6            7.6        48
Goals – North Beach: Perry, Prior 2; Foley, Kirkpatrick, McCaffrey-Nichols.
Best – North Beach: Prior, Coleman, Perry, Papadopoulos, Martin, Rocke.

Indian Ocean Hotel Brett Jones Colts
First Semi-Final
Swan Athletic     2.3          3.5          6.5          9.8          61
North Beach       1.1          4.4          4.7          4.8          32
Goals – North Beach: Mortimer 2; Irvine, O’Malley.
Best – North Beach: Naylor, McLeod, Mortimer, Emes, Stephenson.

Six of the best

James Garcia…an important part of the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade structure.

Right. Forget about anything that’s happened in the last five months, all that matters is what occurs from this moment forward.

The preliminaries are done and dusted, now we are at the pointy end and Charles Riley Reserve will host some big finals, with two massive games running concurrently on the main oval and the northern ground from 2.30pm tomorrow.

The O’Rourke Realty A-Grade, who finished the regular season in second position, will play Kingsway in the qualifying final. Adjacent to them will be the C5-Grade qualifying final with the Hybrid Linings North Beach outfit playing North Fremantle in what looms as another classic battle.

And the prelude to the C5-Grade match will see the Beast Carpet Cleaning C5-Reserves lock horns with Curtin University-Wesley. The club’s thirds and fourths had the benefit of a week off to regroup after finishing the qualifying rounds on top of the ladder.

That same opportunity exists for the Lifenet A-Reserves, who have this weekend off after an unbeaten season. They will, of course, add their voices to the North Beach army as the club goes into battle on such a big day.

The A-Grade will be looking for an improved performance on the last time they met the Roos, at Kingsway Reserve a month ago, when they lost their only game of the season. It was enough to tip them out of top spot on the table.

Over the last three weeks, they have responded, building each week with strong wins over Trinity-Aquinas, University and Collegians.

Shane Paap will be hoping that momentum continues to build with an important element of the lift in form being the influence of some of the younger players in that period, Jack McIntosh, Dylan Brockbernd and Shannon Lucassen.

As well, Nic Reid resumed from a hamstring injury last week and kicked eight goals, while Mitch Gill, Craig Hoskins, Steve Mansfield and Andrew McGuinness have also been important contributors along with skipper Mitch Dwyer.

Down back, the rebound of Christian Bottechia and Dan Leishman will be important while Mitch Mackenzie and James Garcia represent a strong threat in front of goal.

Kingsway also boast some firepower up front through Kyle Hartigan and Jordan Bestry while Rhys Waters is important to them through the middle.

The Hybrid Linings C5-Grade finished the season as minor premier, but understand North Fremantle is a vastly different team to the one they confronted early in the season. With coach Glen Hinkley recovering from major surgery, the thirds will be guided by Bill Duckworth.

The return of Craig Hall will be important to them, while Mitch and Josh Cameron are a ubiquitous presence up forward.

The Beast Carpet Cleaning C5-Reserves also led the competition at the end of the qualifying rounds, although they stumbled in the final round against Wesley.

They have picked a powerful line-up and look in good shape as they prepare for direct route through to the grand final.

The Beyond Tools E2-Grade will look carry momentum forward from an epic qualifying final victory – the winner coming after double overtime – when they play Bassendean at Jubilee Reserve in the second semi-final.

Their back end of the season has been exemplary and they have built strong belief.

The same could be said for the two colts teams.

The Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts play Curtin University-Wesley in the first semi-final at McGillivray Oval. While they have faltered against quality opponents in the last month, they know they are competitive and if they capitalise on opportunities they are capable of advancing to the next challenge.

They will also be re-assured by the fact that one of their best performances of the season came at the venue, albeit University charged home to beat them by a couple of points.

The Indian Ocean Hotel Brett Jones Colts have been on a roll in the last six weeks and are playing with great spirit and enthusiasm. They confront Swan Athletic in the knowledge they beat them in the last qualifying round and will again look to complete this assignment and move through to the preliminary final.

Saturday, August 28
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Qualifying Final
North Beach v Kingsway, Charles Riley Reserve, 2.30pm

Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
Elimination Final
Curtin University-Wesley v North Beach, McGillivray Oval, 10.40am

Indian Ocean Hotel Brett Jones Colts
First semi-final
Swan Athletic v North Beach, Bill Grayden Reserve, 10.40am

Hybrid Linings C5-Grade
Qualifying Final
North Beach v North Fremantle, Charles Riley Reserve (2), 2.30pm

Beast Carpet Cleaning C5-Reserves
Qualifying Final
North Beach v Curtin University-Wesley, Charles Riley Reserve (2), 12,35pm

Beyond Tools E2-Grade
Second Semi-Final
Bassendean v North Beach, Jubilee Reserve, 2.30pm

Lifenet A-Reserves