By Gary Stocks
Sometimes on a wet, sodden, windy bitch of a day there is a need for a flash of light to pierce the gloomy pall and bring some sunshine to the occasion.
Such was the case on Saturday at McGillivary Oval. And, coincidentally, the flick of the switch came from a young man who is a sparky by trade.
The patient throng had to wait until the dying moments for that burst of brilliance, but the timing could not have been better.
After a tough, slogging afternoon against University was winding down to its conclusion and the timer indicated there were about 30 seconds remaining, Matt Irvine demanded the football, duly received it and unloaded from about 55 metres.
At that stage the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team was down by five points against the undefeated Scholars, but Irvine unleashed that booming left foot, the ball sailing through at post height to send the Beach to the lead for the first time in the game.
On a day when goals were a rare gem, this 18 carat play sealed the deal, with North Beach clinching a much-needed victory against the competition benchmark 6.10 (46) to 6.9 (45).
After University had jumped out of the blocks quickly, the Beach continued to chip away from the middle part of the opening term. Adhering vigilantly to the game plan, applying fierce pressure, bit by bit they clawed their way into the match. Until that Irvine exclamation mark!
While the powerful defender kicked the winning goal, the opportunity to claim a last-gasp victory was again created by a whole-hearted team effort. Some individuals were slightly better than others, but everyone played their role.
Freddy Alone and Sam Lamont were outstanding through the midfield along with skipper Beau Witheridge, Ben Sweeny continues to blossom in defence and emerging ruckman Kieren Yakas was again prominent.
The team ethos was also evident in the performance of the Credent Financial Services A-Reserves, who allowed University to kick just one goal in the first three quarters before conceding another in the final term.
The end result was comprehensive 38-point victory where defender Andy Langsford led the way. He was ably supported by Ned Melvin who has been in eye-catching form in the ruck while Brod Walton and Matt Power were also consistently under notice.
The Coast to Coast Phil Scott Colts suffered the only defeat of the day, failing to recover after a slow start, on the way to a 37-point loss.
Ryan Ekert and Brennan Irvine were both solid for the Beach, but too few contributed over the duration of the match.
The Brett Jones Colts produced an outstanding team performance to hold University goal-less, while the Express Bins E2-Grade were outstanding in the twilight game against Brentwood Booragoon.
Stand-in captain Paul Cavanagh was outstanding, along with Ross Holdman, Mark Langsford and Charlie Manaku.
This week all of the club’s teams will be in action after the Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade and the Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves returning to action after a bye last week.
Round 6 Results
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach 3.1 3.3 4.7 6.10 46
University 4.1 4.7 5.9 6.9 45
Goals – North Beach: Irvine 2; Kernutt, Lamont, Davies, Bottechia 1.
Best – North Beach: Alone, Lamont, Irvine, Witheridge, Sweeny, Yakas.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 2.2 3.4 5.7 8.7 55
University 1.0 1.2 1.4 2.5 17
Goals – North Beach: Walton, Cownie, Dwyer 2; McGinnity, Italiano 1.
Best – North Beach: A Langsford, Melvin, Walton, Power.
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
University 2.3 6.5 6.8 9.11 65
North Beach 1.1 2.2 3.3 4.4 28
Goals – North Beach: Turner 2; Bowe, Ekert 1.
Best – North Beach: Ekert, Irvine, O’Gorman, Ellis, Bowe, Brown.
Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 2.2 7.2 12.8 12.11 83
University 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.6 6
Goals – North Beach: Collins 4; Evans, Lynch 2; Bryce, James, Donoghue, Plakakis, Rollo 1.
Best – North Beach: N/A
Express Bins E2-Grade
North Beach 1.5 4.10 6.12 10.16 76
Brentwood 2.2 2.3 2.3 3.4 22
Goals – North Beach: Smith, Manaku, Holdman 2; P Cavanagh, Humphrey, Mirabile, Reidy.
Best – North Beach: P Cavanagh, Holdman, M Langsford, Manaku, Karpincyk.