BY GARY STOCKS
There is no better time to confront an arch rival then a stage in the season where a victory carries with it a bonus or two.
With the stakes elevated and North Beach coming off consecutive losses the time was right to confront neighbours Scarborough at Charles Riley Reserve.
While the Beach was still missing a few key personnel, the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade made a strong statement against the Sea Eagles last Saturday.
On a testing day when the rain front hit the coast in the hour before bouncedown, the Beach played with grit and heart to endure 6.8 (44) to 3.2 (20).
After a tough start, trailing by two goals at half-time, the Beach held their opponents to just one behind after the break to score a meritorious victory that also propelled them back into second position on the Perth Football League ladder.
With goals so precious the performance of small forward Riley Saunders in kicking three majors was exceptional, while Kyle Cranley continued his outstanding form in the ruck and Nic Wells was brilliant on a wing.
Mitch McKenzie offered a strong tall target up forward and Jarrod Chapman was again under notice in defence.
The Lifenet A-Reserves also dug deep against the Sea Eagles, inflicting just the second defeat of the season on their rivals.
It was a tight, dour struggle as the conditions determined and the Beach now occupies second position on the premiership table.
Scarborough jumped out of the blocks with two early goals, but the Beach fought back strongly through the agency of Tim Edwards and Matt Coleman in the midfield and both Dylan Campbell and Tully Wickstein up forward.
With 11 changes week-to-week there were some strong inclusions and the Beach showed great resolve to win 5.5 (35) to 4.8 (32).
The Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts enjoyed the opportunity to showcase their talents under lights and in front of the North Beach faithful – taking the field after the A-Grade fixture.
They relished the change up and produced a stunning performance, making a lie of the conditions to win by 80 points – 11.17 (83) to 0.3 (3).
The Beach made a brilliant start and never surrendered the advantage in one of their best performances of the season.
Tom Elliott was outstanding with six goals while captain Justin Prior flourished in the conditions, Sam Halley and Jared Thompson were impassable down back, James Cameron and Kobi Martin were destructive through the midfield and Finn Nichols continued his strong season up forward.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach 0.1 1.1 3.5 6.8 44
Scarborough 1.1 3.1 3.2 3.2 20
Goals – North Beach: Saunders 3; Lucassen, Garcia, Cranley.
Best – North Beach: Saunders, N Wells, Cranley, M McKenzie, Chapman.
North Beach 2.0 4.3 5.3 5.5 35
Scarborough 3.3 3.5 4.8 4.8 32
Goals – North Beach: Ekert 2; Webster, Johnson, Campbell.
Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 2.5 4.8 6.11 11.17 83
Scarborough 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.3 3
Goals – North Beach: Elliott 6; Nichols 2; Prior, Moses, Coles.
Best – North Beach: Elliott, Prior, Halley, Thompson, Cameron, Martin.
Beach Off To Flier
Slow starts had been making life more challenging than needed, so the Hybrid Linings C4-Grade made that the focus in a re-match of last year’s grand final against Trinity Aquinas.
Being sluggish out of the blocks in the last fortnight had created scoreboard pressure for the Beach and they responded in emphatic fashion against the Boomers.
It was even more critical to get rolling in this battle with the forecast of the in-coming front a little disconcerting.
And by the 10-minute mark of the opening term the Beach had three goals on the board, TA had not ventured inside their forward 50, and the rain began to tumble. They were always going to be difficult to peg back from there.
The Beach continued to control play after quarter-time, kicking 5.10 to 1.2 to run out 43-point winners.
George McColgan was outstanding in the ruck as he dominated the stoppages and gave his midfield including Joel Brown and Marc Crisp first hands on the footy; Isaac Seidner and Mason Rollo kicked two goals each in opportunistic fashion and Matt Seaton and Jack Merson repelled everything TAs threw their way.
The key to the Beast Carpet Cleaning C4-Reserves rebounding from a loss last week was midfield domination.
Combined with some crafty finishing from the small forwards, the Beach set up a seven-goal buffer at half time.
Jayden Hunt and Vaughn Quinlan worked tirelessly through the midfield with their run and carry while Liam Vardy played arguably his best game this season and was a rock in defence.
Ross Heard played well across half back on debut for fourth grade while Jordan Brooks and Conor McGuire were instrumental at ground level in the forward line kicking three crucial goals apiece.
The Indian Ocean Hotel Brett Jones Colts produced a sublime performance to eclipse the Boomers by a whopping 115 points – 21.10 (136) to 3.3 (21).
They travelled to Bill Grayden Reserve, which is always a challenge, to take on last year’s grand finalists and were in control from the outset as the Beach delivered a ruthless performance that propelled them to be one game clear on top of the ladder.
After a slow first quarter North Beach proceeded to kick 20.6 in final three quarters to dominate every aspect of the game.
With 10 separate goal scorers including another bag of seven from Peter Jolley, the Beach had many avenues to goal.
The ball movement was at its most destructive as PJ Rose and Joshua Smith had breakout games and once again the defensive presence of James Logan and Seb Smith was pronounced as North Beach delivered their most destructive performance of the season.
Hybrid Linings C4-Grade
North Beach 3.1 6.2 7.4 8.11 59
Trinity Aquinas 1.2 1.2 2.4 2.4 16
Goals – North Beach: Seidner, M Rollo 2; F Rose, Hall, Emery, Tobin.
Best – North Beach: McColgan, Seidner, Seaton, Crisp, Brown, Tobin.
Beast Carpet Cleaning C4-Reserves
North Beach 3.4 7.8 8.10 8.11 59
Trinity Aquinas 0.5 0.6 3.8 4.10 34
Goals – North Beach: Brooks, McGuire 3; M Hunt, Cuzens.
Best – North Beach: Hunt, Vardy, Brooks, Heard, McGuire, Quinlan.
Indian Ocean Hotel Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 1.4 6.7 13.9 21.10 136
Trinity Aquinas 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.3 21
Goals – North Beach: Jolley 7; Payne 4; Farrell, Arnett 2; Conduit, J Smith, A Smith, P Rose Dobson, McNamara.
Best – North Beach: P Rose, J Smith, Logan, Payne, Jolley, S Smith.
Beyond Tools E1-Grade
Whitford 3.1 5.2 9.5 10.10 70
North Beach 0.0 0.1 0.2 1.5 11
GJ Osplumb E4-Grade
North Beach 3.2 5.5 9.6 13.7 85
Jandakot 1.1 4.4 5.6 6.6 42
Pioneers Reach Milestone
Saturday was a landmark occasion for the North Beach women’s program.
And not just because the Synkro A-Grade team powered their way to a comprehensive victory against Cottesloe. No, it was deeper than that.
Three foundation members of the women’s squad – Alice Di Vincenzo, Ellen Duncan and Ash Pianto – became the first female players in club history to achieve the 50-game milestone. A significant achievement for the individuals but an even deeper impact for the club and the female community football pathway.
Those trailblazers have made important contributions over the last five years and doubtless will have equally significant impact in years to come. They arrived amid a little uncertainty regarding playing numbers, committed and have been immersed in the club ever since.
They, along with others who were part of the program in the embryonic stages, have helped shape a pathway for young girls playing junior football to continue in the game at community level – should they not progress to higher levels.
They were also key contributors in an important victory over Cottesloe when the Beach put the hammer down to ensure they maximised their opportunity against a team further down the ladder.
Kary Plummer was outstanding, Tyler Jones and Elysia Burvill continued a strong run of form while Sarah Lewis capitalised on opportunities presented in the forward half and kicked four goals.
The C4-Grade women added another “W” against their season, albeit on forfeit.
Synkro A-Grade Women
North Beach 3.4 6.7 10.12 13.15 93
Cottesloe 0.0 0.1 0.1 1.1 7
Goals – North Beach: Lewis 4; Ball, T Jones 2; Corney, Plummer, Pianto, Maynard, Popovsky.
Best – North Beach: Plummer, Jones, Burvill, Turner, Lewis, Popovsky.
North Beach def Cottesloe on forfeit