By Gary Stocks
Nothing in a competitive sporting environment should ever be taken for granted.
That much was evident when the third-placed O’Rourke Realty A-Grade outfit confronted eighth-placed CBC Fremantle at Morris Buzzacott Reserve last Saturday, when the motivation to avoid relegation proved as powerful as the drive to secure a finals spot.
The Beach is keen to lock down a top three position but nothing worthwhile comes without hard work and they now need to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.
The quest to earn a double chance in the finals series of the WA Amateur Football League hit a speed hump on Saturday when out-pointed by the lowly Fremantle CBC.
The Beach slipped to an upset seven point loss as CBC produced an inspired performance which leaves the Beach vulnerable.
After appearing to have a comfortable cushion between themselves and the chasing pack, headed by Trinity-Aquinas and Mt Lawley, the Beach will now need to win two of the last three qualifying games to secure the all-important top three finish.
North Beach started strongly against CBC, kicking five of the first six goals, but the home team slipped into top gear, kicked a couple of late goals to finish that term and eventually went on to win by seven points – 16.6 (102) to 15.5 (95).
CBC is not yet safe from dropping back to B-Grade, but the quality of their performance would indicate they will remain in the highest grade.
The Beach is capable of sharp improvement and will need others to support the likes of Mitch Dwyer, Matt Power and Beau Witheridge over the closing rounds. Consistency in performance has fallen away in the last few weeks and will be looking to find their best form in the coming matches.
In stark contrast the Credent Financial Services A-Reserves roll on, with another commanding performance ensuring the Beach locked down top spot.
Playing second-placed CBC, the Beach was always in control and won 12.7 (79) to 8.7 (55) – the final margin flattering the opposition, who kicked three goals in the dying minutes to make it look respectable.
Conversely, the Beach were hot when it mattered, kicking three goals in quick succession to announce their intent in the opening minutes of the contest. Michael Taylor, Jacob Griffiths and Kade Golisano were ferocious in their attack on the football and set the tone for the game.
At McGillivray Oval, the lower grades confronted the challenge that is University, traditionally powerful through those ranks, and produced mixed results.
The Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade suffered a seven-goal loss to the highly accomplished students, while the Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves scored an emphatic and important victory.
Again led by spearhead Michael Bramley, who kicked seven goals, and midfielders Steve Bandy and Cam Alco, in conjunction with ruckman Pierce Keating, the Beach carried too much firepower.
The Express Bins E2-Grade achieve a walkover against Bassendean, while the two colts teams were out-gunned by quality opponents.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
Fremantle CBC 3.2 8.4 11.6 16.6 102
North Beach 5.1 6.3 11.3 15.5 95
Goals – North Beach: Cranley, Foreman, Harwood 3; Dwyer, Jarvis, McComiskie, McGinnity, Witheridge 1.
Best – North Beach: Dwyer, Power, Witheridge, T Langsford.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 12.7 (79) def Fremantle CBC 8.7 (55)
Best – North Beach: Taylor, Power, Golisano.
Nuchange Phil Scott Colts
CBC Fremantle 15.10 (100) def North Beach 6.1 (37)
Cabling Network Solutions D1-Grade
University 11.12 (84) def North Beach 5.4 (34)
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
North Beach 5.2 9.5 11.3 14.10 94
University 2.1 3.2 7.3 10.8 68
Goals – North Beach: Bramley 7; Bandy 3; Smith 2; Gangemi. M Langsford 1.
Best – North Beach: Bramley, Bandy, Keating, Alco.
Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts
University 18.12 (120) def North Beach 4.3 (27)
Express Bins E2-Grade
North Beach 15.0 (90) def Bassendean 0.1 (forfeit)