The hot summer nights with nearly 200 blokes sweating it out on the track, rotating through various stations, was all about preparing for this moment.
This point in time where everything goes on the line. And North Beach is ready.
Tomorrow at Charles Riley Reserve, the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade combination will confront Whitford in the elimination final for the right to fight another week. To stay in the race for the big prize, the premiership.
Five clubs have already subsided and North Beach does intend to become the sixth, but it is acutely aware of the challenge. A week ago these teams locked horns and Whitford emerged victorious by four points.
The Warriors had to win last week to be assured of playing again tomorrow while the Beach had little chance of improving on the fourth position it held going into the match. The stakes are much higher this time around.
With experienced wingman Steve Bandy and defender Adrian Clarke coming back into the team, the Beach appears to have much more running and rebound depth and will be looking to reverse the result of six days ago.
They will again rely upon the ruck depth provided by Alex Hack and Dave Martin while Kyle Riemann, who has been in eye-catching form for the last six weeks, will be looking to inspire the midfield effort.
Down back, Anthony “Chooka” Ingham has also been outstanding and with Clark, Ryan Underwood and Aaron Jarvis they will lock down on their opponents while also looking to set up attacking moves from the back half.
Jackson Harwood and Kyle Holden will carry the responsibility of generating a winning score in what will be a highly entertaining contest of grass roots football.
The Townley Group D1 team will play the second semi-final against Trinity-Aquinas at Bill Grayden Reserve. TAs have been the benchmark for much of the season, but the Beach will carry plenty of fire-power into the game and will be looking for the direct entry into the Grand Final.
Coach Kane Kuenen has done a terrific job with this young team and they will be “up” for the challenge.
Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade plays Ocean Ridge in the first semi-final at Thornlie Oval after winning last week’s elimination final in a thriller.
They, too, have done a wonderful job to this stage of the season and are not yet ready to put the footy boots in the wardrobe for another six months.