North Beach will confront local foe Whitford for the second time in as many weeks after the Warriors caused an upset in the last qualifying round at Charles Riley Reserve on Saturday.
In doing so, Whitford locked down fifth place and will now meet the Beach (fourth) again at Charles Riley Reserve this Saturday in the WA Amateur Football League A-Grade elimination final.
If the re-match is as good as last Saturday’s encounter, fans will be in for an entertaining afternoon of grass roots football, with the Warriors booking their place in the finals series courtesy of a gripping four-point win.
Obviously the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team would desire a different result, but there was no questioning the endeavour in an pressure intensive contest where the skill level was high, befitting a match which would play a large part in shaping the composition of the final five.
There was little between the teams throughout, though on balance of play, North Beach could rue opportunities lost as Whitford won 10.7 (67) to 8.15 (63).
North Beach led by two points at the final change and Whitford, fighting for survival with the heat coming from a couple of teams outside the top five, willed themselves to victory. The Beach could not lose fourth place going into the match and was highly unlikely to push into third position given other fixtures which could impact those standings.
While disappointed at the defeat, North Beach will be looking for skipper Kyle Riemann, full-back Anthony Ingham, ruckman Alex Hack, midfielder Chris Thompson and young defender Ben Sweeny to continue their good form when the season is on the line next Saturday.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves completed the qualifying rounds with a convincing victory over the Warriors. That should see Michael Pratt and his men move into the weekend off feeling comfortable and satisfied, having earned a break in week one of the finals.
The Beach have dominated this competition, asserted their authority early against Whitford and coasted to a 65-point victory.
As Pratt suggested at the post-match presentations, to go through the season undefeated was an outstanding achievement, but the season starts over again with the start of the finals campaign.
The Beach had winners all over the ground, with Byron Boys in great touch in defence, Mark Chamberlain, Josh Stott and Jason Hall strong in the midfield, and Rob McComiskie as combative as ever in the forward half.
The Nuchange Phil Scott Colts produced a sublime performance in demolishing Whitford by 164 points.
After a competitive first quarter, the Beach took control through the midfield where the ruck work of Brendan Collins and Shane Braimbridge was first class and the likes of Kade Golisano, Jack McPhee, Michael Hutchings and Joel Gray feasted on the gold-plated service.
Up forward, the class of Terry O’Brien and Nathan Willmott was apparent, each kicking eight goals, while Bronson Leo, Arran Goodard-Nash, Sam Callow and Aaron Miller were also outstanding in a remarkable team performance.
The third quarter was almost faultless, kicking 10 goals in 20 minutes – with no time one! A remarkable yield, given the time taken to get the ball back to the centre square reduced the game time by a couple of minutes.
While the Townley Group D1 team enjoyed a weekend off, Pana’s Pool Supplies E2 Grade enjoyed a terrific one-point elimination final victory over Wanneroo to earn a shot at Ocean Ridge in next Saturday’s first semi-final.
It was a gripping elimination final with the Beach shooting out to an early lead, aided by Chad Perris’ two goals, which created a three-goal quarter time advantage, before Wanneroo dominated the second quarter with nine scoring shots to none.
Fortunately for North Beach, the constant raids on goal by Wanneroo resulted in more points than goals, however, the opposition took a slight lead into the main break.
Sam Keeley’s strength came to the fore in the third term, along with efficient use of the ball inside 50 meant a five goal to one result. Entering the last term, with Wanneroo having the advantage of a two-goal breeze, the final term ebbed and flowed as Wanneroo surged and then the Beach would respond.
A one-point margin for the last five minutes prevailed until the final siren with some telling last gap marks by the Worm (Tim Van der Kraats), Kenny and Gus Barwick enabling the victory.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Whitford 3.2 5.4 7.6 10.7 67
North Beach 3.3 5.9 6.14 8.15 63
Goals – North Beach: Harwood, Witheridge, Jarvis 2; Holden, McGinnity 1.
Best – North Beach: Riemann, Ingham, Hack, Thomson, Sweeny.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 5.4 7.7 9.8 13.10 88
Whitford 1.2 2.3 3.4 3.5 23
Goals – North Beach: Stott 3; Bowdell, Hall, Potts 2; McComiskie, Bandy, Italiano, Wilson 1.
Best – North Beach: Boys, Chamberlain, Italiano, Stott, Hall, McComiskie
Nuchange Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 5.3 10.6 20.10 27.12 174
Whitford 1.2 1.3 1.3 1.4 10
Goals – North Beach: Willmott, O’Brien 8; Hutchings 4; Gray 2; Baker, Braimbridge, Fitzroy, Grapilgia, Tincknell 1.
Best – North Beach: McPhee, Hutchings, Miller, O’Brien, Willmott, Gray.
Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade
North Beach 4.0 4.0 9.2 11.3 69
Wanneroo 1.3 4.9 5.12 9.14 68
Goals – North Beach: Perris, Keeley 3; Cole 2; King, Smith, Reynolds 1.
Best- North Beach: Keating, Barwick, Rob Elliott, Perris, Pike, Anthony.