By Gary Stocks
A courageous and persistent effort from the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team failed to yield the result as North Beach suffered a desperate three-point defeat at the hands of Wesley Curtin South Oval on Saturday.
Against the undefeated Wesley Curtin, there were times when the opposition threatened to break the game open mid-match, but the Beach hung tough, applied strong defensive pressure all over the ground and finished powerfully.
Down by 20 points at three-quarter, coach David Hynes threw the team around and it injected some life and verve into the Beach, who finished full of running, but ultimately fell short and lost 10.6 (66) to 9.15 (69).
The catalyst for the Beach revival was Michael Italiano, who was elevated to the senior team after strong efforts in the A-Reserves, along with midfielder Mitch Dwyer, defender Adrian Clarke and big man Joe Boys.
Unfortunately, the catalyst for move of Italiano into the midfield after playing largely forward, was a wrist injury to Matt Power, who was out of the game by half-time and the subsequent diagnosis of a fracture means he will be sidelined for the next six weeks.
Swinging Boys from centre half-forward to the ruck was one of the key momentum changers, while Kyle Holden also excelled when moved into defence and both Aaron Jarvis and Jamie Sajich appreciated the chance to push forward.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves produced a brilliant four-quarter effort to obliterate another previously undefeated outfit in Wesley Curtin.
A dominant midfield, led by Kade Golisano, Tim Bowdell, Reece Cunningham, Ben Heap and Micky Bryan ensured a steady supply inside 50 and those opportunities were maximised by Ben Wilson and Sam Green.
Reece Burns was also lively and they simply carried too much fire-power for their opponents.
Defensively, Matt Irvine and Ben Sweeny also excelled and combined with the efforts of ruckman Dave Martin, the Beach were comprehensive winners.
The Townley Group D1-Grade suffered its first loss of the season, failing to capitalise on opportunities in slipping to a seven point defeat to Wesley Curtin.
Despite the best efforts of Jacob Giffiths, Jamie Cosgrove and Alex Luck, the Beach could not get over the line and lost 8.11 (59) to 10.6 (66).
The Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade also suffered a loss to CBC Fremantle, where a heavy price was paid for small lapses throughout the contest.
Jake Hutchison, Paul Murphy, Jacob Copley and James Hay-Hendry all worked tirelessly and deserved a better return.
The two colts teams produced vastly improved efforts, with the Phil Scott combination out-playing their opponents for most of the day without earning the rewards while the Brett Jones colts could not have been more impressive.
At South Oval, North Beach set the tone throughout, but left the door ajar and Wesley Curtin stormed home in the last term to snatch an eight-point win while at Charles Riley, the Brett Jones division romped home by 91 points in a consummate team display.
The Nuchange Phil Scott Colts, with Mat Baker and Jacob Hackett leading the charge through the midfield, Mitchell Cameron always threatening up forward, dictated play but could not put a big enough space between themselves and the opposition.
To three-quarter time, the Beach led in key indicators including tackles, contested possession and inside 50s, but poor defensive efforts from forwards proved costly at stoppages as Wesley Curtin set up goals in those instances.
The Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts, who had started well but faded in the opening three rounds, were keen to sustain their effort – and that they did.
The Beach maintained their strong work rate, led by the midfield contingent of Joel Temm, Conor Mcguire and Damian Premici, who set a strong benchmark which their teammates followed.
Ryan Ekert was dominant in the ruck and North Beach were victorious by 15 goals, the most pleasing aspect being that there were no passengers.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Wesley Curtin 4.3 5.9 8.11 9.15 69
North Beach 4.0 4.1 6.3 10.6 66
Goals – North Beach: Harwood, McGinnity 2; Italiano, Jarvis, Lee, Stott, Sajich, Riemann 1.
Best – North Beach: Italiano, Boys, Clarke, Dwyer, McGinnity, Jarvis.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 2.2 6.3 10.6 15.8 98
Wesley Curtin 0.2 0.4 1.5 2.7 19
Goals – North Beach: Wilson 5; Burns 3; Potts, Green, Cranley 2; Golisano 1.
Best – North Beach: Green, Wilson, Golisano, Burns, Bryan, Irvine.
Townley Group D1-Grade
Wesley Curtin 2.0 4.0 8.3 10.6 66
North Beach 1.4 4.8 7.9 8.11 59
Goals – North Beach: Cassidy, Foreman 2; M Langsford, Tindale, Campbell, Griffiths 1.
Best – North Beach: Cheetham, Griffiths, Cosgrove, Luck, Witkins, Tindale.
Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade
CBC Frem. 3.3 8.3 10.5 12.8 80
North Beach 3.0 4.1 5.1 8.5 53
Goals – North Beach: Holdman 3; Smith, King 2; Citas 1.
Best – North Beach: Hutchison, Murphy, Copley, Hay-Henry.
Nuchange Phil Scott Colts
Wesley Curtin 1.2 2.4 5.7 9.9 63
North Beach 4.2 4.6 7.6 8.7 55
Goals – North Beach: Cameron 4; Hackett, Reid, Walton, Ryan 1.
Best – North Beach: Baker, Irvine, Hackett, Chapman, Zender, Bubnich.
Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 4.4 8.4 11.4 17.9 111
Wesley Curtin 0.0 1.3 1.4 2.8 20
Goals – North Beach: Flynn 4; Hart, Maguire, Temm, Angelov 2; S Clarke, Premici, Winterton, Mairata, Ekert 1.
Best – North Beach: Ryan, Angelov, Temm, Macguire.
*Further results will be posted as they come to hand