By Gary Stocks
It was an ugly day and the footy was no better. Except North Beach clinched four precious premiership points to finish the first full round of fixtures with a win-loss balance of 6-3.
That means the Beach are sitting in third place at the turn, a game and percentage ahead of the team they meet this Saturday at Dalkeith Oval, and in a perfect position to launch the second half of the season.
They will need to step it up from here, but hopefully, with a number of senior players due to return in the next couple of weeks, some stability will return to the line-up.
Against Maddington the reigning premiers fell well short of their best football but still managed a five point victory – 10.6 (66) to 9.7 (61) – on a day when the coast was battered by fierce winds and, occasionally, heavy showers.
The Beach did enough to get over the line thanks to the defensive attributes of Luke Smith and Jimmy Nunan, while Cale Potts and Ben Wilson kicked seven goals between them and Alex Hack was involved in some important work around the stoppages.
Debutant Matt Irvine also did some good work defensively and his probing kicks set North Beach on their way on many occasions.
The A-Reserves game was not one for the highlights reel either, but again the four points were banked the Beach is sitting in second place at the turn.
After a few anxious moments, the Beach pocketed a 43-point win largely due to the work in attack of the recently-elevated Dan Leishman, while Josh Stott, Byron Boys, in his 100th game, and Trevor Lang were solid in defence.
While it was not one for the archives, at least it meant president David Cassidy celebrated his 200th game with victory.
The absence of about 15 senior players has impacted down the grades, with the threes and fours feeling the brunt. Not surprisingly, that did not help the club’s cause in matches against Whitford at Macdonald Reserve.
In the D1 clash, North Beach paid the price for a goal-less first half. Although finishing strongly, the game was gone at that stage.
Dylan McEvoy finished with two goals while Michael Collins, Simon Ongley, Tim Maconachie, Mitch Thomsett and Liam Vardy all worked hard.
It was a similar tale in the D1-Reserves with North Beach kicking two goals in a competitive first quarter, but then being unable to post any further majors for the game.
Hayden French kicked both goals while James Hay-Hendry, Dean Wilson and Michael Missikos tried to inspire their teammates.
The E2 team scored an impressive victory over Kingsley, with young colt Jordan Kickett and Michael Quartermain wielding great influence.
The Phil Scott and Brett Jones Colts teams both scored important victories, the Phil Scott team winning by more than 100 points against an under-manned Maddington while the Brett Jones team came from behind to defeat Whitford.
The Phil Scott team was always in control against Maddington with captain Kris Hackett, forward Christian Bottechia and midfielder Kade Golisano in outstanding touch. Mitch Dillon and Gus Barwick were under notice in defence while Chris Mead, Terry O’Brien, Tim Grapiglia and Mitch Clarke all continuing their good form.
North Beach 2.5 6.6 10.6 10.6 66
Maddington 2.1 4.2 7.4 9.7 61
Goals – North Beach: Potts 4; Wilson 3; Hack, Harwood, Turner 1.
Best – North Beach: J Nunan, Smith, Hack, Ingham, Dwyer, Cunningham
North Beach 2.4 3.11 7.14 10.15 75
Maddington 1.0 3.0 5.1 5.2 32
Goals – North Beach: Leishman, Stott 2; Lang, Holbrook, Griffiths, B Boys, Johnson, Sharrinovski 1.
Best – North Beach: Leishman, Stott, B Boys, Lang.
Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 4.1 10.4 15.4 20.7 127
Maddington 0.0 0.1 0.2 2.5 17
Goals – North Beach: Foreman 4; Kickett 3; Bottechia, Hackett, Golisano 2; Caccamo, Clarke, Gangemi, Mead, O’Brien, Ostle, Thompson 1.
Best – M Dillon, Hackett, Bottechia, Golisano, Foreman, Mead, Ostle.
Whitford 1.3 5.3 7.5 8.6 54
North Beach 0.2 0.2 2.4 4.5 29
Goals – North Beach: McEvoy 2; Barber, Thomsett 1.
Best – North Beach: Collins, Ongley, Maconachie, McEvoy, Thomsett, Vardy.
Whitford 4.3 6.5 10.10 12.10 82
North Beach 2.2 2.3 2.5 2.6 18
Goals – North Beach: French 2.
Best – North Beach: Hay-Hendry, D Wilson, Missikos.
North Beach 4.4 8.4 11.8 11.12 78
Kingsley 0.0 1.0 2.0 2.5 17
Goals – North Beach: Kickett 7; Ritter, Cole 2.
Best – North Beach: Kickett, Martin, Quartermaine.