By Gary Stocks
After a shaky start the North Beach A-Grade combination found full throttle in the second half to power its way to an important 19-point victory against arch rival North Fremantle last Saturday.
After an inefficient and wasteful 2.8 in the first half, the Beach rattled on 10 second half goals to five in scoring a key triumph in the club’s quest to finish on top of the competition at the end of the qualifying rounds.
Now boasting a 10-point break at the top of the ladder, the minor premiership is all but assured with three games to play and can be locked away with a win against Fremantle CBC this week.
Against the Magpies, the Beach were sluggish early and could thank the likes of Andrew “Dingo” Nunan and Dean Brennan for keeping them in the contest.
Efficiency levels improved after half-time with Jamie Sajich, ruckman Joe Boys and Scott Ward also exerting a strong influence over the game while Beau Witheridge continued his good form up forward.
The A-Reserves leaped to second on the premiership table when notching a second consecutive victory over another top four side in powering to a 75-point demolition of North Fremantle.
A measure of the Beach’s dominance was that North Fremantle did not score a major in three of the four quarters as the home side controlled all facets of the game.
Steve Wattleworth provided a reliable marking target in attack and finished his work off with four goals while Cale Potts was exceptional at centre half-back and Tim Langsford was also outstanding in the last line of defence.
That key position control was extended with Joel Fishlock also lively across half-forward and in conjunction with Greg Pires and Michael Italiano, North Beach had all the answers.
The E-Grade paid the ultimate price for failing to finish off the contract against University and lost when the Scholars kicked a goal after the siren to claim a two-point victory.
North Beach had led all day after a brilliant opening, but kicked just a solitary behind in the last term while University poured on the pressure and kicked 2.5.
It was a disappointing loss, but Simon Lorimer, Byron Boys, Lloyd Quinlan, Trevor Lang and Tom McComiskie all played strongly.
The E-Reserves produced a competitive effort against the highly rated University but lost some key players in the contest and ran out of steam when the game was on the line.
Josh Bubnich played strongly through the middle throughout, Josh Stretch, Sam Harrison, Chris McComiskie, Yannick Siegwart and Paul Cavanagh were all strong contributors over the four quarters.
The G-Grade was unfortunately no match for the competition’s leading team, Kalamunda and lost by more than 100 points.
The Phil Scott Colts enjoyed one of their most comprehensive victories of recent memory when dispensing with an under-manned North Fremantle combination.
The Maggies turned up with only 15 players and the Beach was forced to play with similar numbers on the ground, which resulted in a heavy rotation off the bench.
After an even first quarter, the Beach powered away to win by 133 points – kicking 21 goals to one after quarter-time.
The Beach enjoyed domination all over the ground with Josh Barber and Jordan Kickett capitalising on that control with 13 goals between them. Matt Irvine, Josh Stott, Chris Mead, Jamie Cosgrove, Jacob Griffiths and Ryan Antonelli also enjoyed the day and the Tigers will take some confidence into this week’s show-down with league leader Fremantle CBC.
The Brett Jones Colts played some of their best running football of the season at times when beating Wesley Curtin by nine points, but opened the door for their opponents with some costly concentration lapses.
Victory was set-up with an outstanding first quarter, kicking five goals against the breeze, the effort dropped away for the second term and parts of the third, before kicking back hard and establishing a match-winning break.
Three late goals by the opposition made the result closer than it should have been and the focus over the next fortnight will concentrate on finishing off the effort.
Mark Foreman was in good touch at half-forward and on the ball, Gus Barwick provided good rebound out of defence, Jake Robinson was a reliable target at centre half-forward, Evan Miller was exceptional in the ruck and Chad Perris played with strength and energy on a wing.
In addition Reece Thompson worked hard on a wing, Chris Emery was good through the midfield and Ivan DeRooster produced some quality football in defence, with Cale Foley.
North Beach 1.2 2.8 7.11 12.13 85
North Frem 3.3 5.4 6.6 10.6 66
Goals – North Beach: Witheridge 3; Pearce 2; Riemann, McGinnity, Wilson, Paap, Boys, Perkin, Hack 1.
Best – A Nunan, Sajich, Ward, Boys, Brennan.
North Beach 3.6 6.15 8.16 13.16 94
North Frem 0.2 0.4 2.7 2.7 19
Goals – North Beach: Wattleworth 4; Bandy, Fishlock, Heap 2; Allan, Harwood, Pires 1.
Best – North Beach: T Langsford, Pires, Harwood, Italiano, Potts.
University 2.2 5.3 5.3 7.8 50
North Beach 4.5 5.8 6.11 6.12 48
Goals – North Beach: Plant 3; Chapman 2; Robinson 1.
Best – North Beach: Lorimer, B Boys, Quinlan, Lang, T McComiskie.
University 11.9 (75) def North Beach 7.4 (46)
Goals – North Beach: Gregoire 4; Prendergast, Vry 1.
Best – North Beach: Bubnich, Stretch, Harrison, C McComiskie, Siegwart.
Kalamunda 20.15 (135) def North Beach 4.5 (29)
Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 2.2 10.2 16.6 23.16 153
North Frem 2.1 3.2 3.3 3.3 21
Goals – North Beach: Barber 8; Kickett 5; Mead 3; Knott, Irvine 2; Johnson, Stott, Graham 1.
Best – North Beach: Barber, Kickett, Irvine, Stott, Mead, Cosgrove, Griffiths, Antonelli.
Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 5.1 6.6 9.10 11.14 80
Wesley Curtin 1.1 4.2 6.4 11.5 71
Goals – North Beach: Foreman 3; Dye, Emery, Slatter 2; Robinson, Perris 1.
Best – North Beach: Foreman, Barwick, Robinson, Miller, Perris, Thompson, Emery, DeRooster, Foley.