BY GARY STOCKS
Knowing what to expect and coping with it can be mutually exclusive.
That was the case when the O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Grade travelled to McGillivray Oval to play University in an important encounter last Saturday.
Embedded in University’s DNA is slick ball movement, feed the ball back, run from behind, kick to space if there is no clear target. It has been that way for many years, and it was similar in this match as the Scholars established the early ascendancy and strode to a 22-point victory – 8.9 (57) to 4.11 (35).
The damage was done in the first half when University kicked away to a five-goal advantage and although the Beach tried to peg them back, they are hard to reel in after establishing a decent lead.
The Beach cause was not helped when forward Tom Hooper exited the game with a calf injury in the first term, defender Hamish Coulton was concussed in the second quarter and the day also ended prematurely for Brayden Lawler.
Ruckman Kyle Cranley and midfielder Jack Beverley tried to manufacture enough opportunities to apply some pressure to the hosts, but University found a way to counter every offensive.
Matt Murray was also solid in defence while Nic Wells was lively, but too many of the Beach key players struggled to impact the contest.
Earlier the Lifenet A-Reserves produced a stunning fightback against University, eventually winning by 19 points, 7.8 (50) to 4.7 (31).
After kicking just two-goals to three-quarter time, the Beach rattled on five majors in the last term to rally from an 11-point deficit.
The Beach started strongly in the first quarter, but skills and decision errors meant that turnovers prevented scoreboard activity.
In the middle quarters, the University midfield established the ascendancy, and they were able to take advantage of their tactic of rolling a spare player back onto the outer wing and in the backline.
A few frustrations and lack of accountability meant the Beach went into three-quarter time well down, but with Tim Edwards and James Canty leading the charge, the Tigers responded, stuck to the game plan, won more contests and momentum swung dramatically.
With the midfield being accountable and defensive but also with better ball movement onto the forward line everything clicked with a five-goal last quarter.
The final score gave the appearance that the win was more comfortable than it actually was, but there were a number of good takeaways for players and coaches.
The Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts did not get the result but remained encouraged when competitive against one of the traditional powerhouses of the colts competition despite losing by 32 points.
University were efficient up forward in the opening quarter and established a 19-point advantage at the first break before the Beach responded to trail by just six points at the main break.
While the Scholars kicked four unanswered goals for the remainder of the contest, it was not an accurate reflection of the tenacity displayed
Again James Cameron, Riley Sparks and Luis Caccamo set the standard, ensuring the Beach fought it out to the end while Justin Prior was typically combative through the midfield and Aidan Nguyen and Ben Perkin were also impressive contributors.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
University 3.2 6.5 7.6 8.9 57
North Beach 0.3 1.6 3.8 4.11 35
Goals – North Beach: Lucassen, Bottechia, Mackenzie, Brooks.
Best – North Beach: Cranley, Beverley, Murray, N Wells.
North Beach 1.3 2.5 2.7 7.8 50
University 1.1 3.2 4.6 4.7 31
Goals – North Beach: Adler 3; Edwards, Wickstein, Hall, De Courtenay.
Best – North Beach: Edwards, Josh Chapman, Canty, Hunter, Adler.
Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
University 4.2 5.2 8.4 9.5 59
North Beach 1.1 4.2 4.2 4.3 27
Goals – North Beach: Cameron, Caccamo, Everett, Rocke.
Best – North Beach: Cameron, Sparks, Caccamo, Prior, Nguyen, Perkin.
Beach Recovers From Missed Chances
A poor return from a period of domination always creates nervous tension in a coach.
When there is a high level of respect for what the opposition can bring, the anxiety created from those squandered opportunities magnifies.
And Hybrid Linings C4-Grade coach Glen Hinkley was probably feeling it at quarter-time against University last Saturday. A solitary major from seven scoring shots left the Beach vulnerable, but he need not have worried.
A scoreboard presence more reflective of the control the Beach enjoyed, saw them punch out an impressive 10-goal victory against a club that is traditionally a force in every grade they play.
In the last three quarters the Beach dominated proceedings to win 16.12 (110) to 6.4 (40).
Jack O’Gorman was best on ground with a complete performance at centre half-forward while Mitch Cameron continued his amazing form in front of goals with a bag of six and Ryan Ekert, in his return to footy, got better as the game went on and kicked four of his own.
Down back, Matt Seaton again led his team magnificently, constantly repelling Uni forward entries. Marc Crisp’s terrific season continued through the middle of the ground, and he was ably supported by Jamie Bennett, and Connor Pollard.
To be the best, you must beat the best. And the Beast Carpet Cleaning C4-Reserves achieved that feat with a gutsy win over University.
In what was a top of the table clash against the previously undefeated Scholars, the Beach prevailed 8.8 (56) to 7.9 (51) in an engrossing battle.
The Beach needed victory to maintain second spot and have a chance of challenging for top position come the end of the season. Uni made a strong start but were unable to make the most of their opportunities with wayward kicking in front of goal.
Conversely, the Beach were slick on the counter and took a four-goal lead into the second half.
The opposite occurred after the main break with University capitalising on their straight kicking and bringing the margin back to under two goals before the last quarter. North Beach was challenged but battled out a hard-fought win to stamp themselves as a serious contender this year.
With injuries, holidays, covid and the flu impacting numbers across all grades, Sean Foley and Sam Cahill answered the call and both played their second game for the club this year.
Foley was instrumental through the midfield while Cahill was a focal point in the forward line. Connor Hingston and Liam Vardy, at opposite ends of the ground, both provided significant physical pressure throughout the game, laying a number of crunching tackles and bumps.
Mark Craig was terrific with his drive out of the backline and Max Conroy played a selfless role on Uni’s best forward keeping him very quiet after going onto him half-way through the first quarter.
The Indian Ocean Hotel Brett Jones Colts won what could prove to be a season defining win over University, winning 10.3 (33) to 3.12 (30).
Armed with only 20 players, missing 16 and a mass of crucial players the Beach faced a monumental challenge, but the C-Colts relished the challenge against their powerful foe and produced a captivating performance.
Multiple players rose to the occasion and produced their best game in huge performances including Seb Smith and Liam Donaghey down back, Jacob Macnamara, Max Caiacob and Rhiley Smith in the middle and Zach Farrell and Josh Smith up forward.
But it was the ruck and around the ground work from Thomas Bristow-Stagg that turned the tide of the game with his incredible multiple effort impact and clean use of the ball instrumental in the victory.
The Beyond Tools E1-Grade found the going tough against Rossmoyne while the GJ Osplumb E3-Grade continue to impress with a 55-point win over Mosman Park.
Hybrid Linings C4-Grade
North Beach 1.6 6.8 12.10 15.12 102
University 1.0 2.2 4.2 6.4 40
Goals – North Beach: M Cameron 6; Ekert 4; O’Gorman 2; Brown, Rollo, Tobin.
Best – North Beach: O’Gorman, M Cameron, Ekert, Crisp, Seaton, Bennett.
Beast Carpet Cleaning C4-Reserves
North Beach 3.0 6.2 7.7 8.8 56
University 0.6 1.8 5.8 7.9 51
Goals – North Beach: Ryan, Bramley 2; Lewis, Llanwarne, Foley, Cooper.
Best – North Beach: Foley, Craig, Cahill, Hingston, Vardy, Conroy.
Indian Ocean Hotel Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 2.0 5.0 9.1 10.3 63
University 0.4 3.6 3.9 3.12 30
Goals – North Beach: Jolley 4; Farrell 3; McNamara, J Smith, Conduit
Best – North Beach: McNamara, Bristow-Stagg, Caiacob, S Smith, Thomas, Jolley.
Beyond Tools E1-Grade
Rossmoyne 6.5 13.10 19.15 26.18 174
North Beach 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1 1
GJ Osplumb E3-Grade
North Beach 4.0 6.2 7.5 12.9 81
Mosman Park 1.1 1.4 2.7 3.8 26
Goals – North Beach: Premici, Clapham.
Classy Women Shine
If a week is a long time in football, then a year is an eternity.
And the North Beach women’s teams illustrated their growth with remarkable performances against Rossmoyne at Shelley Park. In the corresponding fixture last season the Beach was out-gunned by the hosts.
But a complete reversal saw the Beach teams shine and secure decisive victories.
The Synkro A-Grade Women were so dominant that Rossmoyne never even bothered the scorers, wining 9.6 (60) to 0.0 (0).
Even by way of comparison to the fixture earlier in the year it was remarkable. In the earlier round the Beach endured by four points, but on Saturday it was emphatic as everyone played their role.
Eva Popovsky and Ash Pianto backed up from a victory in the State game the previous night against a WA Country team, with Popovsky again giving a strong display in front of goals, kicking four majors.
Beth Carey, Clare Dickson, Steph Ball, Pianto and Kellie Holden were also stars in the triumph.
The C4-Grade set themselves the challenge of ignoring the past and focusing on the present as they enjoyed absolute control in winning 14.9 (93) to 0.1 (0).
Understanding that Rossmoyne were well down the standings, the Beach set a target of four goals from six scoring shots per quarter and they finished within a whisker of realising this objective.
The structures practiced over the previous three weeks came together, with the communication on ground to get these working both critical and evident.
The Beach midfield was led all day by Rebecca Mirchef who was dominant in the clearances, giving the forwards ample opportunity, with the discipline in remaining selfless in attack most impressive.
Cara Cattrall moved into the midfield to provide speed and line breaking run, while Mel Plant controlled the forward 30.
Down back captain Billie Armstrong was a key to all structures with her direction, allowing Hannah Uglow and Abby Critchell to run hard from half back, knowing they had cover on the rebound. In the end a comprehensive win which allows for more growth and confidence in our ability that we are one of the top sides in this competition.
Synkro A-Grade Women
North Beach 3.0 5.2 8.4 9.6 60
Rossmoyne 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0
Goals – North Beach: Popovsky 4; Burvill, Kuenen, Maynard, Holden, Peacock.
Best – North Beach: Carey, Dickson, Ball, Pianto, Popovsky, Holden.
North Beach 3.3 6.7 10.8 14.9 93
Rossmoyne 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 1
Goals – North Beach: Jones 3; Mirchef, Cattrall, Plant 2; Astone, Critchell, Clayton, Campbell, Kavanagh.
Best – North Beach: Cattrall, Mirchef, McGorlick, Cowling, Armstrong, Astone, Critchell.
I-Grade Grind Out Big Effort
BY STEVE CUZENS
It was always going to be a tough challenge against High Wycombe for the Grange Residential l-Grade – and so it proved.
They have been in the competition since it started and have a wonderful array of talented players. Despite the fact they are unbeaten there is no air of arrogance.
They play great football and have a wonderful sense of sportsmanship. With sportsmanship well covered all we need is to continue to work hard and aspire to their level of football.
With a couple of State players missing, it was up to some of our lesser lights to stand up.
Max Letizia played a terrific game from half back and then swung into the midfield to give us some drive after half time. Benjamin Morley saved countless forward attacks and was ably assisted by Jordan Hill returning from injury.
The forward line was under pressure against a well drilled High Wycombe back line. Lil Goedsir despite playing on several players 20 times her size kicked her first goal of the season as did Connor Rowan, Jordan Hill and Marco Smutts.
Julian Miller played his most disciplined game of the season. Coach Pana had obviously done his homework (for once) and realised we needed someone behind the ball for most of the day. Julian was the man for the role and did a wonderful job even though every muscle and sinew in his body was willing him to go forward and kick goals.
We continue to see improvement in the group from week to week, but Dylan Maier deserves special mention. Dylan is a quiet achiever but on Saturday we felt the penny dropped for Dylan who lived the team mantra of going in and picking up the %$#@ ball !
Dylan did this on several occasions winning his own ball and getting a number of possessions. This is the type of improvement that excites the coaches and why improvement in the group is more important than scoreboard results.
Bouquet – Great to see Maria Scurria back on her feet after getting Covid at her own super spreader event a month ago.
Brickbat – Stuart Curry late with the board before the start of the game.
Grange Residential I-Grade
High Wycombe 13.11 (89) def North Beach 6.3 (39)
Goals – North Beach: Goedsir, Kelly, Rowan, Hill, Smutts.
Best – North Beach: Maier, Miller, Letizia, Morley, Goedsir, Smutts.