By Gary Stocks
At Charles Riley Reserve on Saturday, a great atmosphere was in wait. Two premiership teams were in celebration of past achievements. They were desperate to find a current reason to toast a North Beach triumph.
Sadly, the best endeavours of the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team were not enough to see glasses raised.
Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windscreen!
On Saturday the Beach was extinguished by Wesley Curtin after an epic battle saw them fall four miserable points short – 11.5 (71) to 11.9 (75).
The large legion of fans might have been disappointed but they all acknowledged a great contest by this young and exciting Beach combination which will take the club places. It was a game where new heroes stepped forward.
Where captain Beau Witheridge showed his leadership qualities and every player across the board stood tall. On the balcony the premiership team of 2005 celebrated and in their ranks were people like Chris Perkin, Chris Pearce and Scott Holbrook. Men who would step up in the clinches and make a difference with the game on the line.
In the frenetic final term, Witheridge showed why he is captain of this group. He took it upon himself, after marking just outside 50, to kick a clutch goal. And he nailed it. Forlorn as it was, in the end, he none-the-less made a statement.
So did Sammy Lamont, a tough midfielder, who kicked three goals to try everything to propel his team home. For that he was not rewarded with four points, but won the Gary Tait Medal as best afield.
Rhys Holdman is a graduate from the colts and played a significant team role, minding and shutting down a very experienced opponent. Kieren Yakas was outstanding in the ruck, the Langsford brothers played as Langsfords do. Mitch Dwyer is cut from the same cloth and Joel Brown worked hard both ways on a wing.
It was a gutsy, heart-warming performance. The only thing it wasn’t, was a win.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves produced a solid four-quarter effort to score a convincing 26-point victory, holding sway from the outset.
They had winners all over the ground, but none better than Jacob Cooper at centre half-back, who consistently intercepted Wesley forward thrusts both in the air and on the ground.
Dingo Nunan was a powerhouse through the midfield, shrugging would-be tacklers off like flies, Earl Quinlan pushed his name up for senior selection with a solid effort down back while Joel Fishlock and Liam Spencer were ubiquitous in attack.
The determination and belief of the Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts continues to grow, again coming from behind and scoring a thrilling five-point win on the back of a dominant second half.
They did all the right things when the game was on the line; made smart decisions, used the ball wisely and played with cool heads, even when the heat in the game was like as furnace.
Andy Doyle, Jordan Clair, Brad Waters, Josh Tickner, Josh Cuzens and HarryWilkinson were all outstanding, but it was a great team effort across four quarters.
The Red Hill Brett Jones Colts also produced a stunning victory, absorbing everything that Wesley Curtin could throw at them in the first half, but then taking control after half-time when their opponents, who led at the main break, could add just one goal.
Dylan Fairbairn led the way with a remarkable lock-down role on the opposition’s most dangerous forward and Jed Reidy was also outstanding.
The Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade, was also in good touch, were always in control and won by six goals.
Led by Michael Duckworth and with Shane Duckworth providing a target up forward, they were never under threat. Simon Pearce, Chris Fullarton and Dean Wilson were also important factors.
The Express Bins E1-Grade were comprehensive 145-point winners over Willetton and as one would expect after such a massive victory, won virtually every position on the ground.
Steve Jopson kicked eight goals, Joel Temm was widely regarded as best afield, while Paul Cavanagh, Michael Missikos and Jerome Orr-Young all enjoyed a day out.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Wesley Curtin 5.3 6.6 9.7 11.9 75
North Beach 3.2 5.4 8.4 11.5 71
Goals – North Beach: Lamont 3; Foreman, Reid 2; Cranley, Bottechia, Witheridge, Irvine.
Best – North Beach: Witheridge, Lamont, Holdman, T Langsford, Yakas, Dwyer, Brown, A Langsford.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 2.1 4.2 7.7 8.9 57
Wesley Curtin 0.3 3.6 3.6 4.7 31
Goals – North Beach: Fishlock 3; Ellis, Hall 2; Harvey.
Best – North Beach: Cooper, Quinlan, Spencer, Nunan, Fishlock.
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 2.2 4.4 6.8 9.8 62
Wesley Curtin 1.2 4.2 7.2 9.3 57
Goals – North Beach: Waters 2; Harbers, Desmond, Higgins, Hooper, Halley.
Best – North Beach: Doyle, Clair, Waters, Tickner, Cuzens, Wilkinson.
Red Hill Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 1.3 2.6 5.12 8.19 67
Wesley Curtin 3.3 4.4 5.5 5.5 35
Goals – North Beach: Hill, Reidy 2; Dwyer, Holden, Rollo, Smart.
Best – North Beach: Fairbairn, Reidy, Rollo, Smart.
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
North Beach 3.1 6.2 9.9 9.12 66
Wesley Curtin 0.1 3.1 4.1 4.6 30
Goals – North Beach: S Duckworth 2; Tonus, Davis, Duim, Foley, Pearce, Vardy.
Best – North Beach: M Duckworth, Pearce, Fullarton, Wilson.
Express Bins E1-Grade
North Beach 2.4 8.7 15.10 23.16 154
Willetton 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.3 9
Goals – North Beach: Jopson 8; Missikos 4; Temm 3; P Cavanagh 2; Gelle, Orr-Young, Quartermain, Smith, Oxborrow, Jansen.
Best – North Beach: Temm, P Cavanagh, Jopson, Miissikos, Orr-Young.