BY GARY STOCKS
Confronting a competition benchmark in the early phases of a season can prove educational. Even in defeat.
After getting over the initial disappointment of a loss, much can be learned from the subsequent review. And that is the case after the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team fell short against the undefeated Curtin University-Wesley.
Curtin-Wesley boasts some high grade WAFL talent, and they proved too strong for North Beach, winning 12.10 (82) to 6.2 (38) at Charles Riley Reserve last Saturday.
The visitors exploded out of the blocks, kicking five goals in the opening term to establish an early foot hold and they were not headed for the remainder of the game.
At times the Beach edged within striking distance, but Wesley had the answers, responded and maintained the gap.
Unfortunately, the Beach situation was not helped when midfielder Jack McIntosh received a heavy knock and was taken to hospital, but the opposition carried too much fire-power.
Defender Matt Murray won the past players award as the team’s best, while Riley Saunders, Nic Wells, Adam Swain and Ned Halley also produced strong performances.
While the A-Grade unit fell short, there was some good news through the efforts of the Lifenet A-Reserves – and not just because of the result which saw the Beach prevail 11.6 (72) to 4.4 (28).
Even more pleasing than putting a “W” against the game was the presence of senior players Dan Leishman and Nic Reid. Leishman has had a delayed start to the season after the expansion of his young family and Reid was returning from an ankle injury.
After a selfless team performance, they carried too much expertise for the opposition where they played a disciplined structure both behind and in front of the ball, allowing North Beach to consistently create repeat forward 50 entries.
Egan Brooks was a tower in defence, Nathan Torre relished an opportunity after being promoted from the third grade, and Leishman provided his trademark run.
Additionally, Oskar Tothill provided impetus around the ball, Nathan Adler added a bag of four goals to his growing season haul and Connor Blackburn also excelled in a team performance that was punctuated by a flurry of ‘one percenters.’
Just as they did in the senior game later in the day, Curtin-Wesley was able to apply early scoreboard pressure against the Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts, on their way to an important 9.9 (63) to 8.4 (52) victory.
The Beach was able to re-set and combat the Wesley game plan as an absorbing battle ensued before the opposition kicked away in the last quarter.
Cody Connell, Noah Coutas, James O’Malley, Harrison Baxter and Harper Baron-Hay were all outstanding in their efforts, but it was not enough to carry the Beach over the line.
The Beach sits in fourth position having played all teams above them, so they have the opportunity to consolidate across the last two games of the first round.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Curtin Wesley 5.2 7.4 9.6 12.10 82
North Beach 2.0 3.0 5.1 6.2 38
Goals – North Beach: Johnson 2; Scurria, Garcia, Swain, Josh Chapman.
Best – North Beach: Murray, Saunders, N Wells, Swain, Halley.
North Beach 3.2 5.2 9.4 11.6 72
Curtin Wesley 1.0 2.2 2.3 4.4 28
Goals – North Beach: Adler 4; DeCourtenay 2; Wickstein, C Wells, Hiotis, Tothill, Blackburn.
Best – North Beach: Brooks, Leishman, Torre, Tothill, Adler, Blackburn.
Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
Curtin Wesley 2.4 3.5 4.8 9.9 63
North Beach 0.1 3.4 5.4 8.4 52
Goals – North Beach: O’Shea, Connell, Drobnjak 2; Baron-Hay, Nichols.
Best – North Beach: Connell, Coutas, O’Malley, Baxter, Baron-Hay.
Ruthless Beach Despatch Bulls
Knowing there is an opportunity to boost percentage and having the focus and discipline to execute that task can be different things.
No such problem for the club’s third and fourth grade teams that travelled to Armadale last weekend as they kicked a combined total of 67 goals and won by a cumulative margin of 401 points.
While that does not augur well for the competition or for the Bulls it was a measure of the ruthless attitude of the Beach.
The Hybrid Linings C4-Grade rattled on an imposing 28.13 (181) to 3.67 (24) as they controlled every facet of the game in a 157-point demolition.
Again, Mitch Cameron was at the forefront of this dissection, kicking 11 goals in a masterclass up forward while Jamie Bennett kicked four goals from the midfield in his best performance of the season.
Mason Rollo was also ubiquitous in the forward half, adding another four goals to his impressive 2022 tally, with Ben Tindall continuing his impressive growth as a young man with a great deal of upside.
Earlier, the Beast Carpet Cleaning C4-Reserves had been even more dynamic in scoring a mammoth 39.16 (250) to 1.0 (6) – striding to a clinical 244-point triumph.
All of the forwards feasted on the offerings, with Levi Cooper, Mitch Christie, Jonah Vozzo and Jaxon Lloyd kicking 25 goals between them. But those opportunities to capitalise were created by a midfield unit that was unstoppable.
It was almost a case of centre bounce, clearance, goal. Repeat.
And inevitably that loop featured the exploits of Callan Dunjey and Jack Johnstone winning the ball away from the stoppage.
In contrast to the threes and fours, the Indian Ocean Hotel Brett Jones Colts faced a litmus test against Curtin Wesley at South Oval.
And they passed with distinction.
Bringing heat to the contests, they used their skill and class to good effect and had Wesley on the back foot after a strong opening quarter. Having set the standard, they controlled the game for much of the day and won 12.7 (79) to 7.6 (48).
With nine separate goal kickers, the midfield unit was dangerous and also impacted the scoreboard, while the ruck work of Brodie Everett and Tom Bristow-Stagg ensured the players at ground level had every opportunity.
It was a standout team performance that had everyone associated with the effort beaming with pride.
Hybrid Linings C4-Grade
North Beach 6.3 13.8 20.12 28.13 181
Armadale 1.4 2.5 3.5 3.6 24
Goals – North Beach: M Cameron 11; Bennett, Rollo 4; Rose 3; D Webster, Hall 2; McAuliffe, Pollard.
Best – North Beach: M Cameron, Tindall, O’Connell, Hunter, Rose.
Beast Carpet Cleaning C4-Reserves
North Beach 9.5 18.8 29.11 39.16 250
Armadale 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 6
Goals – North Beach: Cooper 7; Lloyd, Christie, Vozzo 6; Steffenssen 5; M Hunt 4; Vardy 2; Persichitti, Dunjey, Bramley.
Best – North Beach: Dunjey, Johnstone, Cooper, Loyd, Vozzo, Christie, Steffensen.
Indian Ocean Hotel Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 12.7 (79) def Curtin Wesley 7.6 (48)
Goals – North Beach: Castiglioni, Rocke, Farrell 2; P Rose, Jolley, Payne, R. Rose, Everett.
Best – North Beach: R Rose, J Smith, P Rose, S Smith, Claite.
Beyond Tools E1-Grade
Manning Rippers 18.8 (116) def North Beach 7.4 (46)
GJ Osplumb E4-Grade
North Beach def High Wycombe on forfeit
A-Grade Women Match The Best
Close, but no cigar!
That might have been the final result as the Synkro A-Grade women confronted the standard bearers of the Perth Football League, but they were buoyed by the performance.
The growth of the women’s program continued on an impressive upward trajectory as they pitted skill and commitment with Curtin University-Wesley, the dominant force in women’s football who have been premiers in each of the last three years.
The Beach led for the most of the game, but had to be content with a draw after failing to edge their way over the line, this arm wrestle locked at 4.3 (27) apiece as the final hooter sounded.
Elysia Burvill produced another eye-catching performance while Tessa Anderson again underlined her ability while Kassie Tyers, Ash Pianto and Gabby Peacock were also tenacious. Shannon Matthews maintained her high standards with another three-goal effort.
The C4-Grade travelled south to John Dunn Memorial Park and despite two late goals by Kelmscott, ran out victors 4.6 (30) to 3.5 (23).
In another very physical game, the Beach streamed forward at every opportunity but wasted some early chances in front of goal.
Sharni Keunen showed her footy smarts with two great goals and multiple hard ball gets, as the team worked together at the stoppages to clear the ball quickly and take advantage of our quick running midfield.
New captain Moana Roberts ran tirelessly all day and lead from the front, ably supported by the ever-consistent Rebecca Mirchef and tough as nails Chelsea Cowling.
Kellie Holden provided a strong physical presence across half back and through the middle, with Melissa Plant’s leadership on the field evident as Kelmscott surged in the final quarter.
Ilah Lennon put on a best on ground performance as the Beach held on to run out seven-point winners and remain undefeated.
Synkro A-Grade Women
North Beach 2.2 3.3 4.3 4.3 27
Curtin Wesley 1.0 2.0 3.2 4.3 27
Goals – North Beach: Matthews 3; Christian.
Best – North Beach: Burvill, Tyers, Anderson, Matthews, Pianto, Peacock.
North Beach 2.0 2.5 4.6 4.6 30
Kelmscott 0.0 0.2 1.4 3.6 24
Goals – North Beach: Kuenen 2; Turner, Mirchef.
Best – North Beach: Lennon, Kuenen, Michef, Plant, Cowling, Roberts.
I-Grade Spirit Shines Strong
By Claire Pieters
The true spirit of the Grange Residential I-Grade team was on display this week. After last week’s bus trip to Warnbro, the team was hit quite badly by COVID.
All of the coaches, except Adam, the manager, many parents, and a large chunk of players were unavailable, so instead of forfeiting, the team banded together, as it does so often.
Parents stepped in and ran all the game day jobs and helped Ads out on the oval, and players who were healthy changed plans around to make themselves available.
The game was a tough one but the team and stand-in coaches were up for the challenge. In the first half The Beach tried to stay with Coolbinia being out scored 29 -15, the third quarter saw Coolbinia kick away but in the fourth the Beach showed some real spark kicking four goals and finished the game 47-62.
Again, a display of true sportsmanship was shown by Julian Miller who selflessly handed the ball off three times so his teammate Liam Williams could score a career high three goals. Special mentions to Conor Rowan on his two goals and Max Armstrong scoring one.
This team is building each week, putting their training skills into play and it’s really been showing on game day in their last couple of contests. With a couple of weeks between games now, the team will regroup, improve their skills and come back ready to start the next part of their season!
Thank you to everyone who played a role in game day ensuring we could play this week. A team of legends!!
Grange Residential I-Grade
Coolbinia 9.8 (62) defeated North Beach 7.5 (47)