By Gary Stocks
North Beach continued to script more unique history when the club won both the A-Grade and A-Reserves premierships at Medibank Stadium on Saturday.
The A-Reserves started the day positively for the Beach, eclipsing North Fremantle by 30 points and the A-Grade backed that up with a 74-point demolition of Whitford to win an amazing seventh successive premiership.
After chunky Whitford forward Nathan Rodger kicked the opening goal of the game, the experienced North Beach outfit steadied, took control of the game which was effectively determined by half time when they had skipped away to a 41-point advantage.
As has been customary in recent seasons the defensive rebound of the Beach was the catalyst for the victory where Dean Brennan was outstanding and in conjunction with Aaron Jarvis, Scott Ward, Anthony Ingham, Luke Smith, Reece Cunningham and Jimmy Nunan consistently set up the midfield with astute ball use.
When the game was on the line Andrew “Dingo” Nunan won the hard ball in the middle and found strong running allies in Chris Pearce, Kyle Riemann, who won the BJ Giles Medal as best afield and Matt O’Donnell who were aided by the young legs of Matt Power and Mitch Dwyer.
Ruckmen Joe Boys and Alex Hack also assisted the dominance around clearances and up forward Josh McGinnty, Shane Paap and Ben Wilson were lively.
The Beach controlled every position on the ground after taking seven or eight minutes to settle. Whitford ran hard early, deployed a couple of defensive players on key Beach backmen but could not sustain the effort.
Bill Duckworth had his players primed and has now coached the Tigers to 10 flags in the last 12 years. One man who has played in all of those triumphs, Chris “Tex” Perkin was again a solid contributor in the forward line.
At the other end of the scale, the Nunan brothers, Dwyer, Power, Jarvis, Brennan and Hack played in their first A-Grade premiership at the club.
The A-Reserves led throughout, but broke the game open with a determined effort after half-time.
It was at that stage of the game that the experienced Ben Heap took charge on a wing, while Rob McComiskie, Aaron Thomas, Hayden Bell and Michael Italiano also won plenty of contested ball.
Defensively the Beach were outstanding. Tim Langsford completed a terrific shut-down job on Michael Minervini, a seasoned campaigner who has been the Magpies senior spearhead for many years, but he was held goal-less by the determined and disciplined Langsford.
Also in the back half, Cale Potts was outstanding at centre half-back while Brent Stockden and Alex Billi also did their work well.
In attack Joel Fishlock, Greg “Jaffa” Pires and Steve Wattleworth provided strong marking targets while Jacko Harwood and Andrew Langsford also worked hard and won important ball through the middle and forward of centre.
North Beach 3.5 10.8 12.12 18.14 122
Whitford 1.3 4.3 6.3 7.6 48
Goals – North Beach: McGinnity 4; Pearce, Paap 3; O’Donnell, Wilson, Power 2; Turner, Riemann 1. Whitford: Atkinson 2; Kuhl, N Rodger, T Radici, Holmes, Kennedy 1.
Best – North Beach: Riemann, Brennan, Pearce, A Nunan, McGinnity, O’Donnell, Jarvis, Boys.
Whitford: Atkinson, N Rodger, Mills, Eiffler.
BJ Giles Medal: Kyle Riemann
North Beach 3.1 4.3 9.4 10.7 67
North Frem. 1.2 2.3 3.5 5.7 37
Goals – North Beach: Pires 3; Wattleworth, Harwood 2; McComiskie, A Langsford, Fishlock 1. North Fremantle: Hodgekiss, Kiely, Koch-Callaghan, Clayton, Stephens 1.
Best – North Beach: Heap, T Langsford, Pires, Potts, McComiskie, Fishlock, Thomas, Wattleworth.
Best on Ground: Ben Heap