By Gary Stocks
It’s a pretty simple equation really; keep winning and the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team will play finals.
Stumble and the club will allow – and rely – on others to determine how much this season brings.
Unless you are a team at the top of the table, dominating a competition, there comes a junction in the season where destiny is decided. And the Beach has arrived at that point.
Over the last four rounds of the season, North Beach plays clubs sitting below them. Purely on ladder position, they are all winnable.
Starting with West Coast at City Beach Oval on Saturday, North Beach has the opportunity to take the first of four steps towards finals participation. But it won’t just happen. West Coast troubled the Beach first time around, boast some quality midfielders and dangerous tall forwards and are more than capable.
The Beach will need to play at their optimum and will be looking for the team leaders to step forward and impose themselves on the contest from the outset.
With forward Rowan McDonnell and utility player Arran Goddard-Nash resuming from injury, it looks a quality outfit. The Beach has been a youthful combination for much of the season and there is the prospect of a strong colts presence, depending on a couple of late calls that need to be made.
Nick Bowe has played senior football in the last month and has acquitted himself well and could have another teammate from the under-20s join him if the WAFL clubs opt to use a couple of dual-registered players, opening up a position or two.
While the sixth-placed Beach is out of the top on percentage, West Coast is looking to shore up its A-Grade standing and victory here would virtually guarantee a place in the top tier for 2015, if that has not already been achieved.
They sit in eighth position, two games clear of Whitford. The Beach has not played Whitford all season through a quirk in the draw, so will play the Warriors twice in the last three games.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves look out of the running for a late charge at the finals, but also have a soft back-ended draw and depending on results could still sneak in. Unlikely but possible is that scenario.
Stability has been difficult to achieve and more than 70 players have had a taste of reserves football this season, many of them youngsters who will be the future of the club.
The Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts should win comfortably against West Coast. Sitting in second position, the Beach has the opportunity to lock down second place against the bottom team in the competition.
The lower grades will face some challenging matches at Percy Doyle where they will host University.
In the Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade, North Beach sits on top and will confront the second-placed Scholars, while the ladder-leading Beach will find themselves in a similar position in the Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves.
The Brett Jones Colts, who occupy third position, will play top-placed University so there should be some quality football on display at all levels.
The Express Bins E2-Grade will be looking to consolidate a top three spot when they travel to the Warnbro Sporting Complex to tackle sixth-placed Warnbro.
Saturday, August 2
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
West Coast v North Beach, City Beach Oval, 2.30pm
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
West Coast v North Beach, City Beach Oval, 12.35pm
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
West Coast Cowan v North Beach, City Beach Oval, 10.40am
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
North Beach v University, Percy Doyle Oval, 2.30pm
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
North Bach v University, Percy Doyle Oval, 12.35pm
Brett Jones Colts
North Beach v University, Percy Doyle Oval, 10.40am
Express Bins E2-Grade
Warnbro v North Beach, Warnbro Sporting Complex, 2.30pm