By Gary Stocks
The rollercoaster nature of the North Beach season continued on Saturday when the A-Grade team soared to another peak by eking out a solid 17-point victory over traditional rivals North Fremantle at Gil Fraser Reserve.
After a brilliant opening quarter, which saw the Beach open up a 21-point advantage at the first break, they were never headed and virtually held that three-goal cushion for the remainder of the contest.
With Aaron Jarvis in outstanding form at centre half-back, many of North Fremantle’s attacking moves were nipped in the bud. Indeed the form of the back six was exceptional, Reece Cunningham and Luke Smith also holding sway.
The work ethic of Beau Witheridge was constantly under notice, as was that of Jackson Harwood, while Mitch Holbrook provided a marking target deep in attack that had been missing in recent weeks. James Sitters, in his first A-grade game, was also in good touch and looks a player of class.
Going into the game, there were seven changes in personnel and that impacted further down the ranks, effecting all of the lower grade teams.
The unbeaten A-Reserves were hard hit and facing another undefeated team put up a brave effort, before losing to North Fremantle by eight points.
Out of the necessity of promoting young players came some more excitement with a number of first-time A-Reserves players making strong contributions, particularly forwards Jason Hall and Chris Douglas.
Mitch Dwyer showed he was close to an A-Grade recall with an outstanding performance through the midfield. This week, a number of players who were unavailable on Saturday will be ready to play once again, creating some selection dilemmas for the coaches.
The D-Grade team had opportunities against CBC Fremantle at Charles Riley Reserve, but failed to capitalise while the D-Reserves had their share of the football but could not penetrate forward of 50 and lost by 46 points.
Chris McConachie, Chris McComiskie and Daniel Wheeler worked hard throughout.
The E-Grade team played Melville on their home turf and also put up a brave effort before going down by 16 points.
Lloyd Miller and Adam Mack were outstanding for the Beach.
The Phil Scott Colts paid the price for a five or six minute lapse in the second quarter when North Fremantle rattled on four goals, on the way to another competitive, yet ultimately unsuccessful day.
Some of the passages of play were exhilarating, but after establishing an early ascendancy the Beach lost momentum. It coincided with a serious injury to star forward Adam Miotti, who received a fractured pelvis after a heavy collision.
Across half-back Mark Langsford and Ross Holdman were outstanding while deeper in defence Ben Sweeney produced his best game of the season. Through the midfield Kahlil Campbell combined with Alex Barden, captain Kris Hackett and Nathan Caccamo to create scoring opportunities.
Unfortunately, despite the work rate of Jake Robinson, Chris Mead, Sam Waymouth and Terry O’Brien the boys did not convert their dominance into a result on the scoreboard.
The Brett Jones Colts coasted to victory against Wanneroo on the back of a brilliant 10-goal haul from Jordan Kickett. In conjunction with his sidekick, Jake Gomer, who kicked four goals, they powered to a 68-point triumph.
Jamie Cosgrove, Riley Carter and Luke Collins also worked hard in a solid team performance.
North Beach 4.5 8.7 11.11 14.14 98
North Fremantle 1.2 6.4 9.5 12.9 81
Goals – North Beach: M Holbrook 3; Bandy, Sitters. Turner 2; Cunningham, Harwood, Paap, Stott 1.
Best – North Beach: Jarvis, Witheridge, Cunningham, Harwood.
North Fremantle 1.2 4.4 7.11 9.12 66
North Beach 1.3 3.4 5.4 9.4 58
Goals – North Beach: Douglas 2; Hall, Burns, Clark, Barber, Edwards, Potts, Griffiths 1.
Best – North Beach: Dwyer, Hall, Burns, Potts.
Fremantle CBC 4.2 6.2 10.6 12.13 85
North Beach 1.1 5.2 5.3 6.3 39
Goals – North Beach: Brown 2; French, C McComiskie, Kickett, Brooks.
Best – McConachie, McComiskie, Wheeler.
North Fremantle 11.3 (69) b North Beach 6.7 (43)
Goals – North Beach: McEvoy 2; Sharinovki, Leishman, Ongley, Keeley.
Best – North Beach: Lesishman, McEvoy, Ongley.
Melville 2.3 4.3 6.8 8.11 59
North Beach 1.2 2.4 4.6 6.7 43
Goals – North Beach: Cole 2; Bussell, Pearton, Timmy.
Best – North Beach: Miller, Quartermain, Mack.
Phil Scott Colts
North Fremantle 1.1 6.3 8.4 10.11 71
North Beach 2.2 3.6 5.9 7.14 56
Goals – North Beach: Miotti, Waymouth 2; Barden, Golisano, Mead 1.
Best – North Beach: Langsford, Hackett, Holdman, Barden, Campbell.
Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 19.6 (120) d Wanneroo 8.4 (53)
Goals – North Beach: Kickett 10; Gomer 4; Cosgrove, Christie, Davis, R Carter, Collins 1.
Best – North Beach: Kickett, Cosgrove, Gomer, R Carter, Christie.