By Gary Stocks
Coach David Hynes had fore-warned the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team to expect a serious challenge from Mt Lawley.
He was aware that the Hawks had recruited strongly in recent weeks and that had been reflected in their results. They would come to play and would have fresh in their minds the defeat inflicted upon them in the corresponding match early in the year.
Hynes was right. The Hawks had received a boost in talent, but more significantly, they were keen to make a statement and while the match was an absorbing, no-holds barred arm wrestle, North Beach was on the receiving end as the juggernaut hit some turbulence at Hamer Park.
The Tigers lost a tight, finals-like battle against Mt Lawley and while little separated the two clubs all day, the Hawks clinched an important eight-point victory, winning 8.10 (58) to 7.8 (50).
Despite the loss the Beach still holds a two-game advantage over the fourth-placed Hawks and remains in pole position to clinch a top three finish. There is no advantage for the Tigers in securing a home final because Charles Riley Reserve will next move into redevelopment phase.
The Beach will this Saturday play its last game at its traditional home when it confronts ladder leader Wesley Curtin at Charles Riley.
The loss to Mt Lawley was heart wrenching, but there were simply too many players down on form. The most disappointing aspect was that the players should have been better prepared for the challenge.
Had it not been for the efforts of Beau Witheridge, Mitch Dwyer and key defender Kyle Holden the Beach would have been in desperate trouble throughout. Tim Langsford and Matt Irvine were also solid in defence while Rob McComiskie and Kyle Riemann relished the clinches.
The Beach had opportunities to sneak the points, but missed chances and the Hawks blew the margin out with a goal after the siren.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves were again solid in victory and continue with cope with a number of changes to the line-up every week.
As would occur in the A-Grade clash later, Mt Lawley put the Beach under intense early pressure and led at the first change. But in this match, the Beach absorbed everything Mt Lawley could throw at them and charged to an impressive 34-point win.
The class within the ranks of the team – midfielders Kade Golisano, Matt Power, Steve Bandy and Micky Bryan were ubiquitous – while Sam Green was a powerful presence up forward and Ben Sweeney, Kris Hackett and captain Jacob Griffiths were also prominent.
It resulted in a commanding display which resulted in a 10.14 (74) to 6.4 (40) victory.
The Nuchange Phil Scott Colts were overwhelmed early against Mt Lawley, but retrieved the situation, were highly competitive thereafter and despite ultimate defeat should take great heart from the performance.
Down by 39 points at the first change, the boys lost by just 25 points after getting within striking distance in the second half.
Blake Morgan was outstanding through the midfield with his attack on the contest, while Sam Zehnder, Mitchell Cameron, Tom DeCourtenay, David Ryan and Michael Hoskins were also tough in the clinches.
The Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts were out-pointed by Mt Lawley, losing by 37 points.
The Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade scored a comprehensive victory against Mt Lawley, with a near faultless performance which saw it score 18.22 (130) while the Hawks did not trouble the scorers.
It was a remarkable team performance built around contributions from everyone within the team, but Craig Hall was outstanding through the midfield, Michael Schofield was an outstanding key position player, Jordan Kickett bagged eight goals, and Lee Brookes was outstanding particularly talking into account he was playing under duress.
Khalil Campbell and Gus Davis were vibrant in the midfield.
The Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves reversed the early season result, when out-played by Mt Lawley, to win a thrilling contest by Gtwo points – 7.9 (51) to 7.7 (49).
Michael Bramley continued his sensational form, kicking five of the seven gioals, while Cameron Alco, Paul Cavanagh, Jake Carter and Chris Langsford were all outstanding.
The Express Bins E2-Grade was well beaten by Kingsley, losing 12.13 (85) to 3.6 (24).
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Mt Lawley 8.10 (58) def North Beach 7.8 (50)
Goals – North Beach: Bowdell, McGinnity 2; Taylor 1.
Best – North Beach: Witheridge, Dwyer, Holden, T Langsford, Irvine, McComiskie, Riemann.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 1.2 5.3 7.9 10.14 74
Mt Lawley 3.1 5.1 5.2 6.4 40
Goals – North Beach: Green, Cownie 2; Bandy, Bowering, Carter, Griffiths, Miisikos, Jamie Sajich 1.
Best – North Beach: Golisano, Green, Bandy, Griffiths, Power, Hackett, Vardy.
Nuchange Phil Scott Colts
Mt Lawley 6.4 7.7 9.9 12.9 81
North Beach 0.1 5.3 7.4 8.8 56
Goals – North Beach: Cameron 3; Harvey 2; S Clark, Csar, Turner 1.
Best – North Beach: Morgan, Zehnder, Cameron, DeCourtenay, Ryan, Hoskins.
Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts
Mt Lawley 11.7 (73) def North Beach 5.6 (36)
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
North Beach 5.6 9.13 13.18 18.22 130
Mt Lawley 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0
Goals – North Beach: Kikcett 8; Luck, Schofield, Brookes 2; Campbell, Hall, Hogg, MacDonald 1.
Best – North Beach: Hall, Schofield, Brookes, Campbell, Davis, Kickett.
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
North Beach 3.2 4.6 7.7 7.9 (51)
Mt Lawley 3.0 5.1 5.4 7.7 (49)
Goals – North Beach: Bramley 5; McEvoy, Cavanagh 1.
Best – North Beach: Alco, Bramley. Cavanagh, Carter, Wallis, C Langsford.
Express Bins E2-Grade
Kingsley 12.13 (85) def North Beach 3.6 (24)
#Full details of all grades will be published as they come to hand.