By Gary Stocks
The nature of the West Australian Amateur Football League A-Grade competition is such that one small slip up could prove costly.
Evidence of this comes from the fact that the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team has won five of its last six matches, but has been unable to climb significantly up the ladder. It remains in fourth position despite that run of good form and cannot afford to stumble.
That is particularly applicable to matches against teams sitting below the Beach on the ladder, such as tomorrow’s confrontation with Maddington. The club whose heritage is the former Sunday Football League sits in 9th position on the table, but to under-estimate them would be folly.
The Beach was lucky to escape with victory in the first round encounter at Maddington and they come to Charles Riley Reserve with plenty of incentive. Their immediate future depends upon it.
Maddington is sitting on three wins with North Fremantle and face relegation. Hamersley-Carine is 10th, with just one win, and appears destined to return to B-Grade. Neither Maddington, nor North Fremantle, the clubs most under threat, wish to accompany them on that inglorious journey.
So expect the Bulls to come out, nostrils flared, prepared to give all they have.
The Beach has again made changes, a couple of them forced, but the way has been made clear for another emerging player, James Lee, to make his senior debut for the club.
In addition experienced candidates Steve Bandy, Ben Wilson and Adrian Clarke will also resume.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves have answered every challenge this season and have earned their position at the top of the table, unbowed.
They should carry too much arsenal for the win-less Maddington, which is a clash between top and bottom in this grade. The biggest challenge for the selection panel was actually squeezing players, worthy of positions, into the 22 places.
That augurs well for the Townley Group D-Grade combination which will travel to Dalkeith Oval determined to shore up their top two position.
The thirds have also been most impressive this season and have been beaten just once, so will be determined to ensure that position is protected. The much-heralded balance between youth and experience is evident in this team and has produced some sizzling football.
The Clipstar D1-Reserves have been competitive in virtually all games this season, but have found the finish line just once. While finals aspirations have faded into the distance the opportunity to shape the top five should be a strong motivator and with the cascading effect flowing on from the higher grades, they take in one of their most talented combinations.
The Nuchange Phil Scott Colts could face an interesting challenge against Maddington, despite the fact the young Bulls have not won a game.
Across the colts squad, around 20 players are again unavailable, which will create an intriguing scenario. There should have enough coverage across this talented team to emerge with the points, but it will be more challenging than the encounter earlier in the season.
The Tuck Plumbing Supplies Brett Jones Colts remain in finals contention and face a must-win game against Collegians. Again, with talent spread across both teams, they will go into the clash with some confidence.
By Gary Stocks