By Gary Stocks
North Beach further cemented a place in the top three of the A-Grade competition with a solid 62-point victory over Trinity Aquinas last Saturday.
The Beach made an emphatic start and in possibly the most even team performance of the year, conceding just one first-half goal on the way to a 15.11 (101) to 5.9 (39) triumph.
Again experienced players like Simon Pearce, Beau Witheridge and Aaron Jarvis led the way while Joe Boys was also influential.
Up forward Cale Potts and Jackson Harwood kicked seven goals between them while Ben Wilson again showed a capacity to hit the scoreboard. The victory puts North Beach just two points behind Mt Lawley on the premiership table and sets up an intriguing show-down with University at McGillivray Oval on Saturday.
University sit atop the ladder and proved far too strong in the round two encounter at Charles Riley, though the composition of the team is vastly to that which disappointed in the previous battle.
The A-Reserves drifted out of Saturday’s contest against Trinity Aquinas after an enterprising start.
Leading by 10 points at the first change, the Beach scored just two more goals for the game as they struggled to compete with the free-running Trinity Aquinas combination.
There was a propensity to run second to the ball and a lack of energy in the North Beach game, which has been unusual in the higher grades at the club in the last couple of years.
Ben Clarke, Reece Burns and Rob McComiskie tried to inject some life into the performance, but too many teammates failed to deliver in line with their ability.
The day started with a good vibe when the Phil Scott colts upset the top-of-the-ladder TA combination with an outstanding display of team football.
Strong and disciplined throughout, the Beach established an early ascendancy and were never headed on the way to an important 17-point victory which has put the colts in the frame for finals football.
The midfield players, led Ryan Antonelli and Alex Barden, worked hard both ways while Keegan Knott returned from Claremont to kick three goals and defensively Ben Sweeney, Glen Pullella and Josh McDiarmid, who was promoted from the Brett Jones division, were resolute in defence.
At Bill Grayden Reserve, the Beach also achieved victories in two of the three grades with the D1 and D-Reserves compiling good victories after the Brett Jones colts had slipped to a disappointing defeat.
Michael Collins and Jarrad Vennus set the D1 team on the path to a 16-point victory, which should have been a little more comprehensive but for taking the foot off the pedal in the final term.
To three-quarter time TA had kicked just two goals, but four goals by the opposition in the last quarter detracted from an otherwise dominant display.
Mitch Thomsett and Liam Vardy worked tirelessly, while Sam Keeley finished off some good work upfield by getting on the end of it and bagging four goals.
The D1-Reserves were never under any significant threat of defeat on the way to a 38-point win against TA.
Led by Michael Missikos, who rucked valiantly against a much bigger opponent, and James Foley, who doubled up after playing colts to kick four goals, the Beach held sway all game.
Other significant contributors were Paul Middleton and Brett Anthony.
Disappointingly the Brett Jones colts did not respond to the challenge laid down by the opposition, falling away badly in the second half on the way to a 12-goal defeat.
Coach Daniel Wheeler was frustrated by the apparent lack of effort, even allowing for the fact that numbers were diminished courtesy of the mid-year University break.
The E2 Grade struggled for numbers and with the depth tested were no match for Thornlie, though the 80-point loss was not a true reflection of the output.
While out-classed, a number of players put their shoulders to the wheel and tried valiantly to lift their teammates against the odds. Daniel Cannepelle was outstanding through the midfield, Treva Girvan led by example down back and Jarrod Ritter also tried hard in his on-ball role.
When the Beach ventured forward Peter Panagopolous always looked dangerous.
North Beach 5.2 8.8 13.9 15.11 101
Trinity Aquinas 1.2 1.4 3.9 5.9 39
Goals – North Beach: Potts 4; Harwood 3; Wilson 2; Bandy, Boys, Brennan, McGinnity, Sitters, Witheridge 1.
Best – North Beach: S Pearce, Jarvis, Boys, Harwood, Witheridge.
Trinity Aquinas 1.3 4.3 5.7 8.9 57
North Beach 3.1 4.2 4.6 5.6 36
Goals – North Beach: Burns 2; Leishman, McComiskie, Perkin 1.
Best – North Beach: Clarke, Burns, McComiskie.
Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 2.2 5.3 8.4 10.5 65
Trinity Aquinas 1.1 3.3 5.6 7.6 48
Goals – North Beach: Knott 3; Kickett, Waymouth 2; Caccamo, Foreman, McMorran 1.
Best – North Beach: Antonelli, Sweeny, DeRosa, Barden, Knott, Caccamo, Pullella.
North Beach 3.3 6.5 7.8 8.11 59
Trinity Aquinas 1.0 1.2 1.4 6.7 43
Goals – North Beach: Keeley 4; Brown 2; Barber, Vennus 1.
Best – North Beach: Collins, Vennus, Thomsett, Vardy, Maconachie, Wheeler, Marie.
North Beach 9.16 (70) def Trinity Aquinas 4.8 (32)
Goals – North Beach: Foley 4; Smith 2; French, C McComiskie, Middleton 1.
Best – North Beach: Missikos, Foley, Middleton, Anthony.
Thornlie 5.2 9.8 13.10 17.13 115
North Beach 2.1 2.2 3.3 5.5 35
Goals – North Beach: Panagopolous 2; Kickett, Cosgrove, Morrow 1.
Best – North Beach: Cannepelle, Girvan, Ritter, L Ferreri.