The winning edge

By Gary Stocks
Ever wonder why some people are more successful than others?

Why, in the world of sport, regardless of the level, some people find a way to win. How they somehow find a way to get to the line ahead of the pack, when there does not seem to be an obvious reason why that should occur?

When, across most measures, there seems to be little or no discernible difference between individuals and teams but at the end of the contest the intangibles produce the result.

Mick Malthouse puts it down to the one percenters; the seemingly minute details that when added together make a monumental difference. John Longmire believes it to be a mindset, a culture and belief that winning is possible under any circumstances. For Alastair Clarkson it’s about attitude, a willingness to do what it takes, for the sake of the team, to achieve success.

In essence it is probably all of those things…and more.

But regardless, there is an element evident at North Beach. And it has been there for the 20 years that Bill Duckworth has been about the place. Simply put, it is his competitiveness that sets him apart.

Duckworth probably doesn’t sit at home playing scrabble, but if he did he would take no prisoners. It’s the same on the golf course and even playing lawn bowls. He hates losing.

And the drive to win, the attention to detail, saw the Cabling Network Solutions win the D1-Grade second semi-final against Trinity Aquinas last week, ensuring North Beach advances to the grand final of that grade next weekend.

It was a tight, tough and entertaining encounter in which North Beach prevailed – 9.8 (62) to 7.7 (49).

Duckworth, who coached the club to 10 A-Grade premiership before stepping aside a couple of years ago, again produced an inspired coaching move by throwing his son, Shane – a noted defender – into the forward line.

It produced the desired result with Duckworth Jr kicking five goals – three of them in the last quarter when the game was on the line.

In conjunction with Dean Wilson, Ben Heap, Leon Spiccia, Kent Traeger and the fierce tackling of Jacob Fitzroy, the Beach found the finish line, which can be fine in matches of this nature. Their opponents hit the post a couple of times in the last quarter, the Beach converted.

Just another example of things falling the right way.

Unfortunately, of the five North Beach teams in action on the day, the D1-Grade was the only one to salute. The Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts will continue and so will the Express Bins E2-Grade, but for the Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves and the Brett Jones Colts it is season over.    

The Phil Scott Colts played out a hard fought game that was in the balance until the last five minutes, before slipping to defeat against Fremantle CBC.

They had the same number of scoring shots but CBC endured by 15 points, the Beach perhaps being a little under-done in terms of the intensity required, having had a few “soft” victories to finish off the qualifying rounds.

The Brett Jones Colts also fought the game out to the end, but could not combat the all-round talent of Wesley Curtin, while the D1-Reserves also lost to Wesley Curtin –by 30 points.  

Unfortunately another slow start meant North Beach (D1-reserves) was chasing tail all day and was unable to make up the head start.

The Beach showed true fight to kick seven goals straight in the last quarter, nudging to within 18 points, before Wesley kicked again to score a comfortable victory.

Jack Collins, Ross Holdman, Mike Bramley and Shane Piggott were strong four-quarter contributors, but too many players were unable to impact the game.

The intensity and attitude which shone brightly the previous week against Willeton was missing when the Express Bins E2-Grade tackled CBC and they were unable to compete with the opposition.

The Beach was blown off the park in the first quarter and played catch up for the rest of the game.

They tried hard in patches but were far too inconsistent to be competitive in this game.

Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
North Beach 9.8 (62) def Trinity Aquinas 7.7 (49) Goals – North Beach: S Duckworth 5; Flynn, Christie 2.
Best – North Beach: Wilson, S Duckworth, Heap, Spiccia, Fitzroy.

Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
Wesley Curtin 10.13 (73) def North Beach 6.7 (43)
Best – North Beach:  Collins, Holdman, Bramley, Piggott.

Express Bins E2-Grade
Fremantle CBC 22.7 (139) def North Beach 3.3 (21)
Best – North Beach: P Cavanagh, White, Ferreri, Grapiglia, Padgett.

Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
Fremantle CBC  3.1          3.6          4.7          7.8          50
North Beach       1.4          2.7          3.10        4.11         35
Goals – North Beach: Csar, Ekert, Ellis, Maguire 1.
Best – North Beach: Desmond, Brown, O’Gorman, DeCourtenay.

Brett Jones Colts
Wesley Curtin 9.12 (66) def North Beach 6.6 (42).