By Gary Stocks
The quest for a top three finish was removed from the O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Grade team’s control when it lost a one-point thriller to University in the penultimate round of the WAAFL on the weekend.
The Beach led for 95% of the game, but when the final bell sounded, it trailed the Students 14.5 (89) to 13.12 (90), with a couple of late-match defensive errors proving costly.
In losing, the Beach slipped to fourth position with little prospect of improving unless something extraordinary happens. That extraordinary happening would require bottom-placed Hamersley-Carine to upset Collegians, while North Beach would need to fulfil its part of the contract by beating Whitford.
Against University, the Tigers kicked away to a bright start and held sway for the majority of the day largely through the efforts of Ryan Underwood in defence, Josh McGinnity and Jackson Harwood up forward and Steve Bandy and Chris Thompson through the midfield.
Alas, the heart-break of the defeat means one of the best team performances of the season goes unrewarded and the Beach is likely to play a sudden-death match in week one of the finals series.
The undefeated Credent Financial Services A-Reserves, steamed along as normal, with a commanding performance, which resulted in a 103-point triumph.
After a slow start, where the Beach led by just two goals at quarter time, they then slipped into top gear and with clean possession and hard running into space they completely overwhelmed a hapless opposition who didn’t register their first major until the third term.
James Sitters provided a strong target deep in attack while Andrew Langsford, Jason Hall, Marc Chamberlain and Tom Bowdell ensured there was ample supply, consistently pumping the ball forward of centre.
The Nuchange Phil Scott Colts found University a little too classy and despite matching it in a competitive sense for most of the match, slipped to a 60-point loss.
The Beach paid heavily for a sluggish start, which saw them trail by six goals at the first change, but fought the game to the wire and looked good in patches.
University got their goals a little easily, whilst the Beach had to work hard for scoring opportunities, with the opposition being cleaner with possession and more polished with their distribution.
The Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts finished the season positively with a 77-point win over Wesley Curtin.
The opposition arrived with 16 players, which meant that the Beach could field no more than the opposition, and created heavy rotations.
The Beach played some exciting team football and a pleasing aspect was that coach Daniel Wheeler was able to play all of the second year colts together in the last quarter.
The Townley Group D1-Grade produced a ruthless four-quarter display in an impressive preparation for week on of the finals series, which kicks off in the lower grades this weekend, courtesy of a 92-point demolition of Hamersley-Carine.
Coach Kane Kuenen was extremely pleased with the intensity and four quarter focus which enabled the 3s to really put an opponent away in ruthless fashion, and more importantly, playing as a team.
While the opposition struggled, the Beach worked well with Jamie Cosgrove controlling play through the middle while Jordan Kickett and Mark Foreman kicked 11 goals between them.
The Clipstar D1-Reserves made a statement in their last game of the season, also eclipsing Hamersley-Carine emphatically, winning by 89 npoints
Michael Bramley’s first game since recovering from chicken pox was a real feature while James Hay-Hendry dominated in the ruck giving first use of the ball.
The Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade, faced the challenge of top team Thornlie at their home ground and it did not come as a complete surprise, when they were out-classed by about 20 goals.
Thornlie has dominated all season and the North Beach fifths were playing the opposition’s third team . With their first and reserve grade side not in the finals race, this team oozed class and carried to much firepower for the Beach.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach 14.5 (89) lost to University 13.12 (90)
Goals – North Beach: Harwood 6; Bandy, Casey, Dwyer, Hack, Holden, Jarvis, Power, McGinnity 1.
Best – North Beach: Underwood, McGinnity, Thomson, Harwood, Bandy.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 17.18 (120) def University 2.5 (17)
Goals – North Beach: Sitters 5; A Langsford 2; Welsh, Stott, Smith, Italiano, Irvine, Hall, Griffiths, Chamberlain, Bubnich, Bowdell 1.
Best – North Beach: Langsford, Hall, Sitters, Chamberlain, Bowdell.
Nuchange Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 7.6 (48) lost to University 17.6 (108)
Goals – North Beach: Reid 3, Hutchings, Baker, Tincknell 1.
Best – North Beach: Baker, Golisano, Copley, Carter, Collins.
Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 14.15 (99) def Wesley Curtin 3.4 (22)
No goal scorers available
Best: P Clark, Winterton, Jones.
Townley Group D1-Grade
North Beach 20.12 (132) def Hamersley-Carine 6.4 (40)
Goals – North Beach: Kickett 6; Foreman 5; Morling 3; Christie 2; Cosgrove, McEvoy, Wheeler, Campbell 1.
Best: Cosgrove, Kickett, Treager, Dean Wilson.
North Beach 17.17 (119) defeated Hamersley-Carine 4.6 (30)
Goals – North Beach: Bramley 6; Carroll 3; Styles 2; Hay-Hendry, Holdman, Marie, Slatter, Smith, Stretch 1.
Best – North Beach: Bramley, James Hay-Hendry, Mahoney.
Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade
North Beach 3.2 (20) lost to Thornlie 20.23 (143)
No goal scorers available
Best: Anthony, Martinovich, Cole, Smit.h