By Gary Stocks
After a sluggish performance against Kalamunda last week, North Beach senior coach David Hynes will be looking for the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team to rediscover their best form against Fremantle CBC tomorrow.
Returning to our interim home ground at Percy Doyle Oval in Duncraig, Hynes and his team will be hoping they also mimic the form they showed in the opening round when too strong for Swan Athletic – particularly a sublime third quarter.
That 25-minute burst of brilliance, which netted eight goals, was a slick, intelligent, unified effort which left the opposition with no answers.
It was indicative of the capacity of this largely new-look team when they become a synchronised cohesive unit, playing as one.
Unfortunately, that unity was not evident in a disappointing loss to Kalamunda, one of the teams that earned promotion on the back of making the B-Grade grand final last season, and ultimately winning the premiership.
In the wake of that six-goal loss, changes have been made – some forced, some designed to give the team better balance and there will be a few more new faces in the line-up.
Gordon Alone and Earl Quinlan have been elevated to make their A-Grade debut for the Beach, while veteran Steve Bandy returns for his first senior game of the year after an interrupted start, Rob Scantlebury resumes in the seniors after a couple of years away from the club and utility player Alex Billi gets a call-up.
The club understands this will be a tough challenge against a quality opponent (across all grades), but will be looking to strike some consistency of effort – not just from quarter to quarter, but from game to game.
It will also be a belated opportunity to celebrate the 150th game of club stalwart Cale Potts, who graduated through the colts program and to this point of the 25-year-old’s career, the highlight has been selection in the all-Australian under-23 team a few years ago.
After two rounds, the A-Grade team is the only one to lose a match and again the Credent Financial Services A-Reserves will field a strong combination. A number of regular senior players, including Matt Power, Ben Wilson and Josh McGinnity, will resume in this match and will be key players to watch.
The Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts, eliminated by CBC in last year’s finals series, will be looking for a modicum of revenge when they clash in the early game.
CBC has made a habit of producing quality colts combinations in the past and this match represents a stern test for the classy North Beach under-20s.
The Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade will again boast a healthy mix of senior players – many of whom have been reunited with record-breaking coach Bill Duckworth – as well as some developing youngsters who are benefitting enormously from the experience.
Greg Pires, Mitch Holbrook and Ben Heap have been outstanding contributors for a long time and are having a pronounced impact on the transition to senior football for a number of colts graduates.
The Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves will have extra motivation to extend their unbeaten run, with the ever-popular Brett Rice playing his 150th game for the club.
The Brett Jones Colts also front up to the challenge of Fremantle CBC at Morris Buzzacott Reserves while the Express Bins E2-Grade will host CBC at Charles Riley Reserve.
Fixtures, Round 3
Saturday, May 3, 2014
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach v Fremantle CBC, 2.30pm, Percy Doyle Oval
Credent Financial Service A-Reserves
North Beach v Fremantle CBC, 12.35pm, Percy Doyle Oval
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
North Beach v Fremantle CBC, 10.40am, Percy Doyle Oval
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
Fremantle CBC v North Beach, 2.30pm, Morris Buzzacott Reserve
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
Fremantle CBC v North Beach, 12.35pm, Morris Buzzacott Reserve
Brett Jones Colts
Fremantle CBC v North Beach, 10.40am, Morris Buzzacott Reserve
Express Bins E2-Grade
North Beach v Fremantle CBC, 2.30pm, Charles Riley Reserve