By Gary Stocks
Oh what could have been!
A day that started so promisingly, so good that the dirty conditions at Charles Riley Reserve were irrelevant, turned as nasty as the unwelcoming south-easterly squall.
Initially the smiles among the North Beach faithful shone through the darkness, the mood was buoyant and no one cared about the stormy conditions.
It didn’t matter that the ugly wind sweeping through the precinct like a tornado, or the sweeping rain that hurt as it cannoned into uncovered flesh, made for an unpleasant afternoon. Despite all of that the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team had kicked off with a classy display of football befitting of North Beach.
By day’s end the mood around the club, however, was transformed. It was in keeping with the prevailing weather. A dark, angry mood was in perfect synchronisation with Mother Nature, reflected in a seven-point defeat.
North Beach had an opportunity to consolidate a position in the top half of the table, but disappointingly let that chance slip through the fingers. It didn’t seem possible after a bright first quarter, when they kicked six goals to none and Nick Reid crammed a season’s worth of highlights into 25 minutes.
He had kicked five of the team’s goals to the first break and was irresistible. It was a classic display by the team and a masterful display by one individual.
But that was that. Kelmscott came hard when it was their turn with the breeze, the margin was only eight points and belief was flowing in the visitors’ rooms at half time. That level of confidence was at fever pitch 25 minutes later when the margin remained the same at the last change.
And in the end, the Bulldogs scored a well-deserved seven-point win – 9.15 (69) to 9.8 (62).
Earlier, the Lifenet A-Reserves produced a sublime four-quarter effort to win by 166 points – 26.22 (178) to 2.0 (12). That would have been a remarkable effort on a dry day but was simply amazing given they had the worst of the arctic conditions.
It started well with a 29-point advantage at the first change and got even better as the match progressed. This was a stunning team performance, with many stand-out contributions – most notably from Jacob Griffiths, who kicked six goals, Liam Spencer, who contributed five, Peter Harvey, Tom DeCourtenay and Dion Cownie.
The Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts, who continue to build momentum, also controlled their game against the Bulldogs from the outset, winning 9.8 (62) to 4.6 (30) which did not accurately portray the level of dominance they enjoyed.
They played a disciplined, well-structured brand of football in a game where it would have been easy to break away from the team ethos in search of an individual spotlight. Campbell Howie and Josh Tinckner each had a presence up forward and kicked two goals apiece while Luke Hopkins, Cameron Hoskins, Joey Deegan, Jack Dalton, Nick Marsh and Alex Coleman were all four-quarter performers.
The Red Hill Brett Jones kicked off proceedings at South Oval against Curtin Wesley in positive fashion, proving too strong for the opposition in posting a 39-point victory – 11.7 (73) to 5.4 (34) keeping intact an unblemished record.
After a tight first term, the Beach assumed con troll; and had winners all over the ground. Jordan Acott, Ben Johnson and Aaron Ugle kicked 10 goals between them while other key contributors were Cameron Thompson, Brayden Bowden, Jayden Kelava and Alex Ditmanis.
The Coast to Coast Imports D1-Reserves were also the masters of their opponents, a better reflection of the game coming in the form of 20 scoring shots to eight than the 22-point final margin.
The tough conditions in the wind-swept open venue at South Oval made it difficult to maximise the return on effort, but they eventually won 5.15 (45) to 3.5 (22).
Jon Turner kicked two goals and produced a classy display, his experience and guile proving important in the triumph.
The Hybrid Linings D1-Grade was another team that carried too much poise and panache for the opposition, sweeping aside Curtin Wesley with a masterclass performance that carried it to an authorative 80-point win – 15.16 (106) to 4.2 (26).
Lindsay Lawler and Sam Zehnder kicked nine goals between them, while Cameron Cranley continues to flourish and grow his game sense and Michael Collins and Jamie Tonus (three goals) were also influential.
This performance was stunning – as was that of the D1-Reserves – considering there were 11 changes from week to week largely because a number of players were unavailable because they attended a music festival in the south-west.
The Express Bins E2-Grade and the Fusion E2-Reserves enjoyed a bye on the weekend, but will return to battle this week.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Kelmscott 0.1 5.6 6.10 9.15 69
North Beach 6.2 7.2 8.6 9.8 62
Goals – North Beach: Reid 7; K Cranley, A Langsford. Best – North Beach: Reid, Lamont, N Dwyer, Yakas.
North Beach 4.5 11.12 19.14 26.22 178
Kelmscott 0.0 1.0 2.0 2.0 12
Goals – North Beach: Griffiths 6; Spencer 5; Harvey 3; Chapman, Goodard-Nash, Swain, Whitbread 2; Bowe, B Clarke, Cownie, T Langsford, Sweeney.
Best – North Beach: Griffiths, Spencer, Harvey, De Courtenay, Swain.
Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 2.2 4.4 8.5 9.8 62
Kelmscott 0.2 2.2 3.2 4.6 30
Goals – North Beach: Howie, Tinckner 2; Brooks, Hoskins, Lowndes, Manov, O’Connell.
Best – North Beach: Hopkins, Hoskins, Deegan, Dalton, Marsh, Coleman.
Hybrid Linings D1-Grade
North Beach 4.4 8.9 12.12 15.16 106
Curtin Wesley 0.1 1.2 2.2 4.2 26
Goals – North Beach: Lawler 5; Zehnder 4; Tonus 3; M Collins, Cosgrove, Hart.
Best – North Beach: C Cranley, Lawler, Zehnder, M Collins, Tonus.
Coast to Coast Imports D1-Reserves
North Beach 5.15 (45) def Curtin Wesley 3.5 (23)
Goals – North Beach: Turner 2; Alco, Mirabile, van Der Kraats.
Best – North Beach: Team effort
Red Hill Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 3.2 7.3 8.5 11.7 73
Curtin Wesley 3.1 4.2 4.3 5.4 34
Goals – North Beach: Acott 4; Johnson, Ugle 3; Black. Best – North Beach: Thompson, Bowden, Kelava, Ditmanis.
Express Bins D2-Grade North Beach – Bye
Fusion D2-Reserves North Beach – Bye