By Gary Stocks
University produced an outstanding display of committed team football to upstage North Beach on one of the biggest days on the club’s annual calendar – Gary Tait Day.
In honour of the former club stalwart, who was tragically killed when king hit outside as Hong Kong bar 14 years ago, the Beach failed to live up to expectations and were uncharacteristically brushed aside by an inspired University.
The Scholars ran the ball brilliantly from their back half, played with youthful exuberance and the Beach simply could not – or did not – run with them.
The premiers of the last seven seasons were generally insipid, with only a handful of players competing with the required intensity or desire. Shane Paap led the charge and was a deserving winner of the Gary Tait Medal while Anthony Ingham, Dean Brennan and Joe Boys were also solid throughout.
Reece Cunningham and Kyle Riemann, as they always do, but too much was left to too few and the result was a 58-point hiding, with a goal-less second half.
The A-Reserves were also off the boil, but on the back of a brilliant third quarter, which yielded seven goals, they were able to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
The return of Beau Witheridge from a broken wrist was a highlight while Simon Pearce was outstanding in the ruck. A couple of the younger players, Simon Lorimer and Matt Irvine, who kicked three goals apiece, have also given the selectors something to ponder.
Trevor Lang played strongly in the last line of defence, Rob McComiskie was busy around the ground and Greg Pires again made a strong contribution on the scoreboard with two goals.
The Phil Scott Colts produced some quality football on the way to a 60-point win over the highly regarded University, breaking the game open with an outstanding second term which yielded six unanswered goals.
With Ryan Antonelli. Jacob Carmody, Alex Barden and Kris Hackett leading the way through the midfield opportunities were bountiful and Adam Miotti (five goals), Christian Bottechia and Mitch Dillon were always looking dangerous up forward.
When required the defensive unit was solid, led ably by Jarrad McMorran at centre half-back while Ben Sweeney was also efficient in the back half.
The Brett Jones colts also had their first taste of success for the year, finishing strongly against University at McGillivray Oval to score a morale-boosting 10-point win.
Chris Mead, James Cusack and Jordan Kickett led the team brilliantly while Chris Humphrey and Sam Waymouth were tidy down back. Jake Gomer worked well in tandem with Kickett and finished with four goals.
Dylan Niblett and Matt Bajars led the D1 boys on their way to a brilliant 19-point win over Wesley Curtin. Never really under threat, their presence in the midfield, along with the effort of ruckman Liam Vardy propelled the Beach to victory.
In addition, Reece Burns was outstanding while Jason Hall offered a strong presence in attack.
Unfortunately, the D1 Reserves saw a match-winning advantage disintegrate before their eyes against Wesley-Curtin. From about six goals up in the middle of the third term, the Beach lost control as the home team stormed back to win by seven points.
Just two behinds in the last quarter was not good enough as Wesley Curtin won 8.16 (64) to 9.3 (57).
Alex Luck, Jared Venus, Tim Maconachie, Sam Keely and Daniel Stocks maintained their level throughout the contest but too many of their teammates fell off the pace. Keely finished off his day with five of his team’s nine goals.
The E2s had a tough day against Willetton with the game effectively over at half-time when Willetton led by 10 goals. To the credit of Pana and his boys, it was even in the second half, eventually being beaten by 64 points.
Dan C, Travis W and Rob Morrow were shining lights for the Beach.
University 2.2 6.5 10.8 13.10 88
North Beach 2.4 3.5 3.9 3.12 30
Goals – North Beach: Paap 2; Stott 1.
Best – North Beach: Paap, Ingham, Brennan, Cunningham, Riemann, Boys.
North Beach 1.1 4.3 11.3 12.4 76
University 4.2 6.5 7.5 10.10 70
Goals – North Beach: Irvine, Lorimer 3; Pires 2; Sitters, Witheridge, Pearce, Fishlock 1.
Best – North Beach: Pearce, Lank. McComiskie, Lorimer.
Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 3.3 9.4 11.12 13.17 95
University 2.1 2.4 3.4 5.5 35
Goals – North Beach: Miotti 5; Bottechia, Brooks, Dillon 2; Carmody, Foreman 1.
Best – North Beach: Miotti, Antonelli, Carmody, Barden, McMorran.
North Beach 3.1 6.4 11.4 14.6 90
Wesley Curtin 2.3 3.3 7.3 11.5 71
Goals – North Beach: Barber, Hall, Polmear, Justin Sajich, Bajars 2; Collins, Dickson, Douglas, Johnson 1.
Best – North Beach: Niblett, Burns, Vardy, Bajars, Hall, Dickson.
Wesley Curtin 2.2 2.7 4.14 8.16 64
North Beach 4.0 6.1 9.1 6.3 57
Goals – North Beach: Keely 5; Marie, Middleton, Brown 1.
Best – North Beach: Luck, Venus, Maconchie, Keely, Stocks.
Willetton 5.1 11.2 13.3 14.10 94
North Beach 1.1 2.3 3.4 4.6 30
Goals – North Beach: Miskos 2;Lloyd, Tim 1.
Best – North Beach: Dan C, Travis W, Morrow, Wills, Drew.