By Gary Stocks
A day of expectation became one of despair as North Beach succumbed to the hard-running, free-flowing game plan at Charles Riley Reserve on Saturday.
On a day when the Beach was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 1993 premiership and was looking to challenge the reigning premier, it had no answer to the slick, skilful ball movement of the Students who led at every challenge.
The end result was a 40-point loss for the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team – 14.13 (97) to 8.9 (57).
University is adept at creating run from behind the ball and that was the case in this contest, particularly when they broke the game open in the third quarter, kicking out to a 32-point lead which was going to be tough to peg back.
It was early in that term that the Beach challenged, but could not sustain the charge despite the efforts of several hard workers, including Rob McComiskie, who is fast cementing a place in the senior team, while Aaron Jarvis was always threatening in the forward line and kicked four goals.
Josh McGinnity worked hard across half-forward and was rewarded with the Gary Tait Medal.
Ruckman Joe Boys was getting first hands on the ball and gave running players every opportunity to take control, but it was at ground level that University took control. They ran harder and stronger and their offensive ball use was damaging.
The Beach went into the game level on points and just one percent adrift of University, but have much work to do to bridge the gap against the club that has won the last two A-Grade titles.
While there is recognition that much improvement is required, there is also a belief that it can be achieved.
The Credent Financial Services A-Reserves maintained their unbeaten run, but only just – falling in by a point against the Scholars. In the end the Beach prevailed 7.9 (51) to 7.8 (50) and while they remain at the top of the premiership table, there is understanding that some areas need to be addressed should ultimate targets be reached.
The Nuchange Phil Scott Colts recovered from a poor start against University to at least challenge their opponents after half time.
With some key players sidelined, the boys did not bring the intensity and work rate required in the first half, but after the long break there was a lift in endeavour and a strong impact was achieved.
Players like Assman and some courageous work from Rudrum put the boys in the zone and the Beach went hard at their opponents. Unfortunately there was not enough time to undo our first half.
The Townley Group D1-Grade suffered a 27-point loss to Whitford while the Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts were out-pointed by the Warriors and lost by 56 points.
The Clipstar D1-Reserves returned to the winners’ list with a comfortable victory against Whitford and were never threatened throughout the contest.
It was a good, even team performance and the margin would have been greater if not for an inaccurate first quarter that yielded just 1.8, before going on to win by 95 points.
Jamie Cosgrove responded to being dropped by dominating for four quarters while Michael Bramley and Mitch Christie combined for eight goals.
The Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade was always in control against Stirling before winning 16.6 (102) to 4.3 (27).
Round 8 Results
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
University 4.2 8.3 11.9 14.13 97
North Beach 1.2 5.5 6.7 8.9 57
Goals – North Beach: Jarvis 4; Cranley, Lee 2.
Best – North Beach: Jarvis, McComiskie, McGinnity, Boys.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 7.9 (51) def University 7.8 (50)
Nuchange Phil Scott Colts
North Beach 2.2 2.4 4.4 9.7 61
University 4.4 7.9 10.11 11.11 77
Goals – North Beach: Chapman, Reid 2; Aarons, D Ryan, Walton , Webster 1.
Best – North Beach: O’Connell, Rudrum , Reid , Irvine ,Webster, Assman.
Townley Group D1-Grade Whitford 9.4 (58) def North Beach 5.11 (41)
North Beach 1.8. 4.14 8 .15 16.15 111
Whitford 0.2 1.2 2.3 2.4 16
Goals – North Beach: Bramley5 ; Carroll , Christie 3; Cheetham , Collins ,McEvoy, M.Missikos, Wallis. Best – Cosgrove, Styles, Christie, Collins, Hay-Hendry, Bramley, Wilson.
Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts
Whitford 14.15 (99) def North Beach 6.7 (43)
Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade
North Beach 16.6 (102) def Stirling 4.3 (27)
*Further details will be published as they become available