RIDING THE CREST OF FINALS WAVE
The view from the crest of the wave has been spectacular for the O’Rourke Realty NorthBeach A-Grade this season.
At times their football has been simply mesmerising; the first half of the season opener against Trinity Aquinas at Charles Riley Reserve, for instance. Then the first two finals of this current series, where they have eliminated University and TA in cut-throat matches.
Now, it is a matter of carrying that momentum forward against Fremantle CBC at Morris Buzzacott Reserve in tomorrow’s preliminary final.
Of course, it’s not going to be that simple, but the Beach knows its best football is capable of beating any opposition, there is a strong sense of belief built in the last fortnight and they know the level must be repeated.
The Beach also takes heart from the fact that they kicked first five goals against CBC the last time they ventured down there a little more than a month ago. They did not sustain that effort, CBC fought back and won an enthralling game and Shane Paap and his players understand the magnitude of this challenge.
Much will depend on the outcome of the midfield battle – as it has done in both the elimination final (University) and the first semi-final (Trinity Aquinas).
Young ruckman Josh Chapman will be important and he will be looking for the support at ground level from the likes of Sam Lamont, Beau Witheridge, Dan Leishman and Dion Cownie.
Up forward, Nic Reid, runner-up in the A-Grade fairest and best on Monday night, will be a key, but he will need the support of Ryan Ekert, Mitch Dwyer, Kyle Cranley and Tim Edwards.
It looms as a tight, tense struggle – as it should be, given the reward for victory is a place in next week’s grand final against Scarborough.
While the A-Grade team is looking to advance to the grand final, the Express Bins E2-Grade will be looking to claim the club’s first premiership of the 2018 season.
They will play Fremantle CBC in the grand final at Wanneroo Showgrounds and will also enjoy strong support for a game that brings with it the ultimate reward for a season of toil.
There are a number of NorthBeach treasures playing in this match and if the footy gods have any sentiment at all, they will be rewarded for their dedicated service to the club.
Coach Novak Smith has been a pillar in the lower grades for many years and so has Brett Anthony, who played in a colts premiership 20 years ago, but has not tasted success since.
For those loyal servants – along with the likes of Paul Cavanagh, Michael Bramley, James Hay-Hendry and Jack Collins – it would be fitting for them to complete the season with a medal around their necks.
Naturally, they will not be thinking about that, it will be about the process and systems required to get the job done. Fixtures O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Fremantle CBC v NorthBeach, Morris Buzzacott Reserve, 2.30pm Express Bins E2-Grade
Fremantle CBC v NorthBeach, Wanneroo Showgrounds, 1.15pm
HIGH HONOURS FOR BEACH STARS
The NorthBeach Football Club has enjoyed an outstanding season across every on-field level and that was reflected in the voting at the annual WA Amateur Football League awards on Monday night.
Three Beach players won their respective grade’s individual; accolade as the best player in the competition while several others were prominent.
Rebecca Viney, a trailblazer in the Galleria Toyota NorthBeach A-Grade team, shared the mantle as the fairest and best player in the inaugural competition with Jessie Barker from Curtin University-Wesley.
That’s a remarkable for the lithe midfielder who played the season as one of the youngest players in the competition at just 17 – she turned 18 this week – and ensures she will forever have a place in the history of this burgeoning competition.
In addition to her individual triumph, Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts ruckman Oskar Tothill (left) was a run-away 10-vote winner of the A Colts fairest and best – backing up from last season when he won the gong in the Brett Jones Colts, despite missing half the season.
And James Hay-Hendry (right), a dominant ruckman in the Express Bins E2-Grade, won the award as the best player in that competition, taking the mantle ahead of teammate Jay Allison-Green.. He will be looking to add a premiership medal to that lovely memento when they play Fremantle CBC in Saturday’s grand final at the Wanneroo Showgrounds.
Other outstanding performances came from midfielder-forward Nic Reid in the O’Rourke A-Grade team. Despite missing a handful of games with injury mid-season, Reid (18 votes) was runner-up to Scarborough’s Joel Ashman (20 votes).
And Luke Mann was third in the Red Hill Brett Jones Colts count.
With three teams in grand finals already, the club will be hoping they are joined by the A-Grade, who face another formidable challenge against Fremantle CBC at Morris Buzzacott Reserve in Saturday’s preliminary final.
Trail-blazing A-Grade women’s joint fairest and best Bec Viney.