From little things big things big things grow. And owning those small moments added up to an important victory for the O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Grade against Scarborough yesterday.
There was a handful of those instances which were significant in 21-point victory in the ‘Battle of the Beaches’ at Charles Riley Reserve.
Like key forward Ryan Ekert kicking two thumping goals against the breeze – one each in the first and third terms; like Sam Lamont corralling Scarborough speedster Adam Vallelonga in the second term. He didn’t buy what Vallelonga was selling as he tried to ‘step’ the Beach star, but Lamont smothered the ball on the wing and stopped a forward surge.
Then, in the last quarter, another one percenter on the wing in front of the interchange bench was critical.
Again the Sea Eagles were surging forward, but Matt Holden committed to thwart the charge. He smothered the kick from Matthew Haddon, kept the ball alive, fed it forward and the passage ended with Michael Schofield taking a mark in the goal square and converting a clutch goal.
Scarborough had edged within three points, that took it to nine, and the Beach had some breathing space.
Finally, to put the game beyond any doubt, Andrew McGuinness gathered the ball on his boot laces and in one motion screwed around the corner on his right boot. That took the margin beyond three goals and the Beach was home.
Those moments added up to important victory that propelled the Beach to the top of the table and was the result on a concerted four-quarter effort.
While they trailed at quarter-time by 13 points, they had done well to minimise the damage, hit the front in the second quarter when they had the use of the breeze and were never again headed.
As always in the modern game, it started in the midfield where ruckman Kyle Cranley and ground level players like Craig Hoskins, Adam Cockie, Mitch Gill, James Garcia and Blake Piggott got the ball rolling.
Additionally, Dan Leishman, Luke Symonds and Simon Tunbridge were effective in defence, often launching offence with smooth transition backward of centre.
While the A-Grade held sway from the middle of the second term, the Lifenet A-Reserves were never in any serious danger of seeing the only blemish on their score sheet for the year.
They controlled the situation from the outset, kicked with the breeze in the opening term and never surrendered the advantage at any stage of the game, as they advanced to six consecutive victories.
The A-Reserves owned all of the key moments, but there was one special piece of play in the second quarter when Dan Ryan marked and goaled in his first game back off a knee reconstruction.
The Plasterwise Phil Scott colts also produced a commanding performance to win by 63 points – 11.12 (78) to 2.3 (15).
They had winners all over the ground with Lachlan Thomas and Sam Cooper dominant in defence, ruckman Craig Bothe giving his team first use and the likes of Justin Prior and Egan Brooks all playing with class.
Up forward Caden Eaton was imposing, Tai Kilpatrick continues to evolve as a goal-kicking midfielder and wingman Hayden Tunnis was influential.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach 1.1 4.3 6.7 9.8 62
Scarborough 3.2 3.3 5.5 6.5 41
Goals – North Beach: Ekert 2; Hoskins, Schofield, Witheridge, Garcia, Dwyer, Leishman, McGuinness.
Best – North Beach: Garcia, Piggott, Cockie, Leishman, Symonds, Cranley, Lamont.
North Beach 2.4 4.6 6.9 7.10 52
Scarborough 0.0 2.1 2.1 3.3 21
Goals – North Beach: Tothill 2; Black, Edwards, Foley, Ryan, Wells.
Best – North Beach: Chapman, Sweeny, Edwards, Tothill, Murray, Boylan, Bennett.
Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 4.4 5.6 8.11 11.12 78
Scarborough 0.1 1.2 1.2 2.3 15
Goals – North Beach: Scurria, Eaton, Kilpatrick, Brooks 2; Bellouard, Coleman, Spencer.
Best – North Beach: Thomas, Bothe, Prior, Brooks, Cooper, Kilpatrick, Tounnis.