By Gary Stocks
It’s easy to say, in the sporting vernacular, that a team or individual needs to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get on with the next challenge.
Living that edict is far more difficult. Usually after a disappointment there is some damage to confidence and belief. There is a mental scar.
In round eight, at Charles Riley Reserve, the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team suffered the disappointment of a tense four-point loss. So close yet so far. It was as gut-wrenching as a similar defeat to University in round one.
While coaches can speak about sticking to the game plan, remaining faithful to the big picture, sometimes that faith is tested. But this young North Beach team has not lost enthusiasm for the challenge.
There has been some disappointments along the way, but when possibly the biggest moment of the season arrived at Mt Lawley last Saturday, the Beach stepped up. This clash with the Hawks was pivotal and the Beach got the job done with a solid 38-point win – 15.6 (96) to 7.16 (58).
The Beach jumped out to a handy break at quarter-time and for the most part was in control, though there were some anxious moments through the afternoon.
The class of young forward Nick Reid (four goals), Christian Bottechia, Kyle Cranley and Mark Foreman were telling factors as was the work of ruckman Kieren Yakas, skipper Beau Witheridge, who is enjoying an outstanding season, defenders Andrew Langsford and Matt Irvine and the energetic Sam Lamont.
After a sluggish start, the Credent Financial Services A-Reserves produced a polished performance and despite a diminished bench, which left them with just one rotation, they won by a comfortable 21 points.
The Beach dominated the second and third terms and had the game virtually locked away at half time, with Mt Lawley failing to kick a goal. With the injury toll mounting, the Beach was conservative thereafter.
Adam Duff, Jacob Griffith, Luke Pardini, Jacob Cooper and Craig Hall were all exceptional as the A-Reserves consolidated a place in the top three.
The Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts were engaged in another thrilling encounter before losing to Mt Lawley by seven points – 12.6 (78) to 10.11 (71). It was tense to the finish and the final result was blown out when the Hawks kicked a goal in the dying seconds.
The Beach played well and there was again a lot to like about how they went about the task.
While the Beach didn’t finish well enough, they maintained belief in what they were trying to achieve and turn at the half-way point of the season with a 7-2 win-loss ratio. They will be looking forward to this week’s clash against University, who out-muscled them in the first game of the season.
Ben Harbers, Ned Halley, Andy Doyle, Jordan Clair, Jacob Desmond, Harry Wilkinson, Dylan Campbell, Jack Dalton and Josh Tickner were all solid contributors.
In another tight contest the Red Hill Brett Jones Colts endured in a thriller, winning 6.10 (40) to 6.5 (35).
It was not their most polished performance of the season, but they found a way to win when things were not falling in place. Ryan Frawley was outstanding through the midfield, Jesse Segal was a rock at full back and Pierce Rollo stepped up a notch when the game was on the line.
The Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves scored an emphatic 52-point victory, but the margin, on balance of play, was far greater than that with Mt Lawley’s extraordinary accuracy making it appear tighter than it was. The Beach won 15.11 (101) to 8.1 (49).
The midfield dominance of Matt Allan, Jon Turner and ruckman Ryan Clapham ensured a steady flow of opportunities and Cale Potts made the most of those chances, continuing his brilliant form with another seven goals.
The Express Bins E1-Grade slipped to a disappointing loss to Swan Districts after being right in the game until the middle stages of the third term.
Coach Novak Smith thought the players lost interest and failed to find the grit required to notch an important win when the opposition stepped up the tempo.
He believes the Beach needs to lift its two-way running, talk and effort to compete against the best teams. There are some crucial games coming up which will define the season.
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach 5.2 8.5 11.6 15.6 96
Mt Lawley 1.3 5.7 7.11 7.16 58
Goals – North Beach: Reid 4; Bottechia 3; Cranley, Foreman 2; Webb, Brown, Lamont, Irvine.
Best – North Beach: Yakas, Witheridge, Reid, A Langsford, Lamont, Irvine.
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach 0.5 3.9 7.13 7.15 47
Mt Lawley 0.4 0.5 2.5 3.8 26
Goals – North Beach: Griffiths 3; Davis, Ekert, Pardini.
Best – North Beach: Duff, Griffiths, Pardini, Cooper, Hall, Lang, Ingham.
Coast to Coast Imports Phil Scott Colts
Mt Lawley 12.6 (78) def North Beach 10 .11 (71)
Goals – North Beach: Campbell, Adler 3; Doyle 2; Marsh, Harbers.
Best – North Beach: Harbers, Halley, Doyle, Clair, Desmond, Wilkinson, Campbell, Dalton, Tickner.
Red Hill Brett Jones Colts
North Beach 6.10 (46) def Mt Lawley 6.5 (41).
Goals – North Beach: N/A.
Best – North Beach: Frawley, Rollo, Segal, Warner.
Hybrid Linings D1-Reserves
North Beach 6.3 8.4 12.8 15.11 101
Mt Lawley 2.0 4.1 4.1 8.1 49
Goals – North Beach: Potts 7; Bramley, Orr-Young 3; B Boys, Turner.
Best – North Beach: Turner, Allan, Clapham, Potts.
Express Bins E1-Grade
Swan Districts 11.10 (76) def North Beach 5.6 (36)
Goals – North Beach: Jopson 2; Missikos, Rice, Collins.
Best – North Beach: Veitch, Kappler, Ryan, Gil, Mirabile.