By Gary Stocks
The 2012 season kicked off as senior coach Bill Duckworth had hoped when North Beach hosted Mt Lawley at Charles Riley Reserve.
A new-look team, with eight players making their first senior appearance for the club, produced a refreshing brand of football and a 49-point victory against a team which last year lost the Grand Final to University.
North Beach had been accustomed to playing in grand finals, but was a distant third to those clubs last year and resolved to do something about it. The initial signs were encouraging, though any coach will tell you there is a long way to go before the medals are distributed in 2012.
Just the same, band of newcomers were impressive as the Beach defeated the Hawks by 49 points – 15.14 (104) to 8.7 (55).
While stalwart Beau Witheridge was the architect of s many of the good things the Beach produced, a number of debutants showed they will be valuable acquisitions.
Former West Perth trio Josh Pearce, Kyle Holden and Adrian Clark were all effective while Chris Casey provided plenty of drive through the middle.
After Mt Lawley had led by seven points at the end of an entertaining first half, the Beach stepped up the intensity with ruckman Dave Martin giving them first use of the ball.
Typically, the Tigers found strong rebound out of defence with Anthony Ingham and Aaron Jarvis leading the way. In attack Cale Potts, who earned all-Australian under-23 selection last year, kicked three goals along with small forward Rob McComiskie.
Ryan Underwood and Daniel Leishman also looked threatening throughout.
The A-reserves also started strongly, although like the A-grade team they took a little while to gel on the way to a similar eight-goal result.
The presence of several quality recruits has added depth righ through the club and two multiple a-grade premiership players, Luke smith and Simon Pearce, were central to the success.
Another recruit, Mark Chamberlain, was also influential while colts graduate Chris Mead presented strongly in attack and finished off his work with four goals.
Unfortunately, the colts teams suffered heavy defeats at the hands of Mt Lawley and CBC Fremantle.
After leading at the first change, the Phil Scott team could not combat the run and drive from their opponents and were eight goals down at three-quarter time before “winning” the last term.
Despite the loss, there were some encouraging performances particularly from Michael Hutchings through the midfield, Glenn Pullella in the last line of defence and wingman Kieran Ridley.
The Brett Jones colts were soundly beaten, failing to kick a goal against CBC when si much more was expected.
The losing margin was 100 points, with the few who played in the traditional North Beach spirit being Jono Hopkins, Paul Branden, Alex Clark and Ryan Clapham.
The D1 Grade scored an important first up victory, eclipsing Whitford by 15 points.
Jordan Kickett was a prime target deep in attack throughout and capped off his work with five goals while Simon Wilson, Marc Welsh and Trevor Lang were all in good touch.
A relentless effort from the D1-reserves saw North Beach cruise to a 133- point victory over Whitford. Sam Harrison enjoyed the steady flow of opportunities from a dominant midfield to kick seven goals while Daniel Stocks set a wonderful example with his work rate around the stoppages.
Michael Bramley and Khalil Campbell were also prime movers.
A red-letter day for the senior teams was completed when the E grade team won by 124 points against Cockburn Lakes.
Luke Fereri, Gus Barwick and Trevor Girvan were influential while Novak Smith finished off their good work with four goals.
North Beach 2.3 5.3 9.8 15.14 104
Mt Lawley 2.1 6.4 7.6 8.7 55
Goals – North Beach: McComiskie, Potts 3; Underwood, Bollen 2; Casey, Holden, Leishman, Martin, J Pearce 1.
Best – North Beach: Witheridge, Casey, Jarvis, Ingham.
North Beach 2.3 4.5 8.9 11.10 96
Mt Lawley 0.0 2.2 2.3 4.5 29
Goals – North Beach: Mead 4; Faithfull 3; Harwood, Robinson, Wilson, Chamberlain 1.
Best – North Beach: Smith, Chamberlain, Robinson, S Pearce.
Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 3.1 3.3 4.3 7.3 45
Mt Lawley 3.0 6.4 12.6 14.9 93
Goals – North Beach: Brooks, Gray 2; Baker, Winterton, Zampogna 1.
Best – North Beach: Hutchings, Ridley, Pullella.
Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.3 3
Fremantle CBC 4.2 8.7 13.8 15.13 103
Best – North Beach: Hopkins, A Clarke, Clapham, Brandon.
North Beach 6.5 7.7 8.10 10.11 71
Whitford 1.0 5.1 6.1 9.2 56
Goals – North Beach: Kickett 5; Barber, Foreman, Griffiths, Miotti, Wilson.
Best – North Beach: Wilson, Welsh, Lang, Rakin, Wheeler.
North Beach 6.4 12.9 14.11 20.15 135
Whitford 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 2
Goals – North Beach: Harrison 7; Bramley, Christie 3; Holdman 2; Brown, Mirabile, Stocks, Campbell 1.
Best – North Beach: Harrison, Stocks, Bramley, Christie.
North Beach 6.3 9.9 11.12 20.13 133
Cockburn Lakes 0.3 1.3 1.3 1.3 9
Goals – North Beach: Smith 4; Perris, Marchani, Barwick 3; Thompson 2; T Cavanagh, Popovski, Gangemi, Pike, Reynolds.
Best – North Beach: L Ferreri, Barwick, Girvan, Smith, Pope.