By Gary Stocks
A real-life example of a well-worn cliché, suggesting the harder you work, the luckier you get, was evident when the O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Grade team eclipsed neighbourhood rival Whitford at MacDonald Reserve on Saturday.
A thirst for the contest has not always been evident at the Beach this year, but with the season at risk of slipping away, they certainly rose to the occasion against the Warriors.
Even when appearing in early trouble, the endeavour of the North Beach players could not be questioned. Trailing by eight points deep into the second term, having kicked only a goal at that stage, the turning point came in the shadows of half-time.
The Beach surged forward and sent the ball to within 40 metres when utility player Adrian Clarke took a strong contested mark. As he pushed back to line up his set shot, the siren resonated around the park, Clarke deliberately approached the target and split the middle.
The Beach then trailed by two points, took momentum into the break and then carried that forward into the second half when they produced an inspired 50 minutes of football.
With Dave Martin and Alex Hack giving their midfield first look at the footy, Mitch Dwyer, Chris Casey, Michael Bryan and Kyle Reimann consistently pumped the ball forward where Josh McGinnity and Jackson Harwood were keen to capitalise.
Defensively the Beach were miserly, with best-on-ground, Aaron Jarvis outstanding at centre half-back and ably supported by Ryan Underwood, Tim Langsford and Anthony “Chooka” Ingham.
Additionally, Jason Hall, who had been quiet in the first half, sprang to life and Andrew Langsford and Beau Witheridge provided much-needed hardness at the contest.
Earlier the Credent Financial Services A-Reserves were forced to work similarly for a 14-point result which kept their unbeaten record intact.
Trailing by four points at the last change, the Beach found the drive required with midfielder Jon Turner, elevated colt Kade Golisano, tenacious forward Jacob Griffith, ruckman Simon Pearce and defenders Michael Duckworth and Jake Robinson doing much of the grunt work which saw them endure by 14 points.
Duckworth was injected into the midfield in the final term to help give the Tigers some drive through that area and it certainly achieved the objective.
The Nuchange Phil Scott Colts won their second successive match with a comprehensive victory to start the day positively.
After a relatively even first quarter, the Beach dominated the second and third terms to put the game beyond their opposition’s reach. The class of a midfield that boasted Alex Barden, Nic Reid, Jake Marchin-Vincent, Jack McPhee and Mackenzie Morgan ensured that the ball spent long periods inside the Beach forward half.
In addition, after quarter time, the Tigers worked better to team structures and Whitford had no answers.
Defensively, Sam Callow, Dave Dillon, Riley Carter, Jordan Veitch and Shane Braimbridge were resolute on the odd occasion when called upon.
Reid finished his game off with four goals, while ruckmen Brendan Collins, Ryan Clapham and Tom Bowering were also effective and giving the midfield first use.
At Charles Riley Reserve, the Townley Group D-Grade scored another important victory over North Fremantle which could go a long way towards securing a top two finish come season’s end.
Forward Mark Foreman enjoyed a match-winning five goal haul while midfielder Reece Burns continued his outstanding form, ruckman Liam Vardy was in good touch, defender Ben deRosa imposed himself on the contest and Michael Collins was terrific across half-back.
All those efforts – and more – saw the Beach claim a pulsating two-point result.
The Clipstar D1-Reserves left their run too late against the Maggies, falling agonisingly short by a solitary point. After kicking just one goal in the first three quarters, the Beach rallied and kicked four in the last term to fail by the barest margin.
Novak Smith kicked four of his team’s five goals while Blake Slatter, Shivdeep Gill, Jack Collins and Dean Wilson worked hard throughout.
The Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts, after an enterprising start, lost focus and concentration on the way to a 23-point defeat at the hands of North Fremantle.
After a four goal first quarter, the Beach did not bother the scorers in the second term as the Maggies rattled on six unanswered goals which changed the course of the match.
Jacob Fitzroy, Tim Grapiglia and Joel Gray worked hard, but too many teammates fell away after a great start.
The Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade confronted ladder leader Thornlie and could not match them, but were still heartened by the performance.
Despite a 54-point loss, the Beach won two quarters and are looking forward to their next clash.
North Beach 1.1 2.4 6.4 10.6 66
Whitford 1.1 2.6 3.10 4.12 36
Goals – North Beach: Harwood, Pearce, Riemann 2; Clarke, Dwyer, Hall, Underwood 1.
Best – North Beach: Jarvis, Dwyer, Casey, Langsford, Bryan, Hack.
North Beach 0.1 3.2 4.4 7.5 47
Whitford 1.1 4.1 5.2 5.3 33
Goals – North Beach: Griffiths 2; Bowdell, Chamberlain, Duckworth, Foley, McComiskie 1.
Best – North Beach: Turner, Golisano, Griffiths, M Duckworth, Pearce, Robinson.
Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 1.4 6.8 11.10 13.14 92
Whitford 0.3 0.3 0.4 1.4 10
Goals – North Beach: N Reid 4; B Collins, Morgan, McPhee 2; Baker, Barden, Waymouth 1.
Best – North Beach: Reid, Dillon, Marchin-Vincent, B Collins, McPhee, Morgan.
Brett Jones Colts
North Frem. 1.2 6.2 10.4 11.4 70
North Beach 4.1 4.1 5.2 7.5 47
Goals – North Beach: Grapiglia 2; Fletcher, Jones, Elphick, Gray, Huggins 1.
Best – North Beach: Fitzroy, Grapiglia, Gray.
North Beach 2.1 3.4 7.4 8.6 54
North Frem. 3.1 3.1 6.2 8.4 52
Goals – North Beach: Foreman 5; Kickett, Morling, Stott 1.
Best – North Beach: Foreman, Vardy, Burns, DeRosa, M Collins, S Duckworth, Stott.
North Frem. 1.3 3.4 5.7 5.8 38
North Beach 0.1 0.3 1.5 5.7 37
Goals – North Beach: Smith 4; Duff 1.
Best – North Beach: Slatter, Gill, J Collins, D Wilson.
Thornlie 6.1 8.1 15.1 16.2 98
North Beach 0.1 3.2 3.5 6.8 44
Goals – North Beach: French, Cole 2; Perris, Pike.
Best – North Beach: Phi, Pike, Dane.