Twenty years ago and the Duckworth dynasty was just starting to gather momentum.
The 65-point victory over Fremantle CBC in the A-Grade Final was the second of 10 that would eventually come during the 1985 Norm Smith medallist’s celebrated run as North Beach senior coach.
The Beach, who were minor premiers, franked that honour by claiming the premiership with an authoritative performance at East Fremantle Oval – 18.10 (118) to 7.11 (53).
Michael Pratt won the BJ Giles Medal as best afield and other stars included Greg Pires, Chris Perkin, Luke Smith and Matt Fong.
At Charles Riley Reserve on Saturday many of those stars of the best who blazed the trail of success for the club will be back at the club to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the triumph.
They will be one of four teams reminiscing past successes with the 1981 Colts and E-Grade teams getting together, along with 1991 I-Grade team that was coached by Neil Savage.
That I-Grade outfit, known as the all-stars, included the likes of club stalwart Harry Huggins, a long time representative of major sponsor O’Rourke Realty Investments and Bruce Reynolds, another generous contributor through his business Crush, also playing in the successful team.
The coming together of those teams will ensure a vibrant atmosphere as the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade seeks to cement its place at the top of the table against Wembley.
The senior men remain unbeaten in the top four grades, but the challengers are queueing and they will need to be at the top of their game to avoid a hiccup as we advance into the early stages of the second round of fixtures.
Classy midfielder-forward Nic Reid is poised to resume against the Magpies and like many of his teammates will be looking to build as the climax to the qualifying rounds begins to become visible on the horizon.
The Lifenet A-Reserves are also brimming with talent, but will be expecting a competitive against Wembley, who have bolstered their playing stocks in recent weeks.
The challenge for many of the club’s teams that have laid a solid foundation, will be to focus on the immediate rather than casting forward, so the mantra must remain at the clichéd ‘one week at a time.’
The Hybrid Linings C5-Grade – the business owned by Pires – and the Beast Carpet Cleaning C5-Reserves will both face difficult assignments against University at McGillivray Oval, as they, too, strive to remain unconquered.
Saturday, May 29
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach v Wembley, Charles Riley Reserve, 2.40pm
Lifenet A Reserves
North Beach v Wembley, Charles Riley Reserve, 12.50pm
Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
North Beach v Wembley, Charles Riley Reserve, 11am
Indian Ocean Hotel Brett Jones Colts
Fremantle CBC v North Beach, Morris Buzzacott Reserve, 10.40am
Project Ceilings A-Grade women
North Beach v West Coast, Charles Riley Reserve (2), 11am
Peak Body C-Grade women
North Beach v Cottesloe, Charles Riley Reserve (2), 9.30am
Hybrid Linings C5-Grade
University v North Beach, McGillivray Oval, 2.40pm
Beast Carpet Cleaning C5 Reserves
University v North Beach, McGillivray Oval, 12.50pm
Beyond Tools E2-Grade
Bassendean v North Beach, Jubilee Reserve, 2pm
GJ Osplumb E3 Grade
Kalamunda v North Beach, Ray Owen Reserve, 2.30pm
Grange Residential Integrated Rules
North Beach v Mandurah Mustangs, Charles Riley Reserve (2), 1pm