A performance to behold (post on May 21, 2018)

Dan Ryan...set the tone with a brilliant first-quarter tackle.

Dan Ryan…set the tone with a brilliant first-quarter tackle.

By Gary Stocks
When the O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Grade combination produces its optimum it is something to behold. Saturday was one such occasion.

Going into a contest with Wanneroo, equal on points with a similar winning ratio of four ticks in the “W” column after six rounds, this match loomed as pivotal fixture and certainly looked on paper to be challenging.

But the Beach moved the ball methodically from the outset, attacked the football with vigour and purpose and used it efficiently going forward. At quarter-time the Beach led by 20 points and given the amount of football they had enjoyed it probably could have been more.

Certainly that was the point made by coach Shane Paap at the first break. He had enjoyed the dominance, but was focused on the method rather than the outcome.

Doubtless, he would have been satisfied with both the brand and the results after a sublime second quarter had the game out of the Roos reach, the home team leading by 60 points.

Through the midfield Dan Leishman, Dion Cownie and Sam Lamont were active while inside the forward 50 arc, Ryan Ekert enjoyed his best moments in senior football. The talented big man kicked nine goals for the game and was always threatening while another big target, Kyle Cranley was also menacing.

Down back Christian Bottechia, Ben Sweeny, Matt Irvine and Michael Taylor did all that was asked of them as the Beach racked up an impressive 85-point victory – 20.15 (135) to 7.7 (49).

It was another day where the unity and mateship shone through, as evident as the perfect conditions in which this game was played. A fierce tackle from Dan Ryan in the opening term was team lifting; the guile and dexterity of Andrew McGuinness drew roars of approval from a large North Beach crowd that also craved a 10-goal haul from Ekert.

The big man had his chances in the last few minutes, but did not have the energy in his cramping hamstrings to convert either of two opportunities.

While Ekert was alight in the A-Grade match, it was a player at the opposite end of the ground who set the tone when the Lifenet A-Reserves continued their winning form – eclipsing Wanneroo by 69 points.

From the opening minute at centre half-back Ned Halley was a man determined to impact the game. He attacked the ball with purpose, used it efficiently and did much to set his team on their way.

Again the Beach did not draw maximum return on their early dominance, inaccuracy the major factor in that respect but they went on to win 11.19 (85) to 4.2 (26).

Throughout the contest, Halley was outstanding and he received strong support from Matt Holden, Nick Wells and Adam Swain through the midfield, Jamie Sajich and Peter Hoitis down back and both Cory Townder and Mark Foreman who kicked three goals apiece.

The Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts started the day with the biggest challenge against their Wanneroo counterparts. In an entertaining contest, the Beach eventually endured by 16 points – 8.7 (55) to 6.3 (39).

The Roos kicked six goals before their first blemish which made it a tight contest throughout.

Eventually the Beach endured courtesy of the work of Judd Clinch and Jamie Bennett down back, David Purser and Nick Baroni in the midfield and Lachlan Thomas in attack.

Liam Catalfamo also chimed in with three goals.

It was a great weekend for the beach, starting on Friday night when the Galleria Toyota Women’s A-Grade won on Friday night – the first of nine wins for the club.

Details, match reports from other grades to follow.

Round 7
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach      4.2         11.8       17.10    20.15    135
Wanneroo         1.0           2.2         4.5       7.7         49
Goals – North Beach: Ekert 9; McCarthy, Cranley 2; Leishman, Edwards, Ryan, McGuinness, Cownie, Lamont, Foley.
Best – North Beach: Ekert, Leishman, Bottechia, McGuinness, Cownie, Lamont, Ryan.

Lifenet A-Reserves
North Beach      2.7         4.13       9.15       11.19    85
Wanneroo         1.0         2.2         2.2        4.2       26
Goals – North Beach: Townder, Foreman 3; Swain 2; Johnson, Torre, Mead.
Best – North Beach: Halley, Holden, Foreman, Wells, Swain, Sajich, Hoitis, Hoskins.

Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
North Beach      2.1         4.4         7.7         8.7         55
Wanneroo         2.0         4.0         6.0         6.3        39
Goals – North Beach: Catalfamo 3; Gardiner, Burton, Seidner. Thomas, Purser.
Best – North Beach: Bennett, Clinch, Purser, Baroni, Thomas.
#Match reports, details other grades to follow

Marquee game at Charles Riley (post on May 18, 2018)

Andrew McGuinness will return to play the Roos

Andrew McGuinness will return to play the Roos

By Gary Stocks
There is no such things as an eight-point game, they all carry the same value, but the clash with Wanneroo at Charles Riley Reserve tomorrow could have serious implications.

The O’Rourke Realty North Beach A-Grade team is sitting in third position, behind the break-away leaders Scarborough and Fremantle CBC, who to this stage are unbeaten but will meet today.

While it is not impossible to find success from outside the top three – read Trinity Aquinas 2017 – it is preferential, in the top five finals system, to secure a spot in that section of the table and earn a double chance.

It might be a little early to be wrestling with the idea of gaining an advantage in the race for a lofty position, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. There are also little landmarks along the trip and this clash with the Roos could be one of them.

Winning will not guarantee either club anything – it’s only round seven – but banking four precious premiership points here could be telling in the long run.

The Beach goes into this game with little intel on Wanneroo, who were promoted after winning the B-Grade premiership last year. They have a cluster of players with solid WAFL careers behind them, so they will be formidable.

While North Beach knows something about Wanneroo and undoubtedly they have scouted the Tigers, the unknown for the visitors is what to expect at Charles Riley Reserve and they are sure to confront a large and vocal home crowd.

That can be daunting, particularly for first time travellers, so Shane Paap and his team will be keen for the Beach faithful to exercise their vocal cords.

With the first of the club’s marquee days, about 90 of the club’s faithful sponsors and most loyal supporters, being hosted on the day the atmosphere should be vibrant. The club thanks the following companies and individuals for their support.

The Beach will welcome back experienced forward/midfielder Andrew McGuinness and will again look to form midfielders Dan Leishman, Dion Cownie, Mitch Dwyer and Sam Lamont to lead the charge.

It should be an entertaining battle and after the sublime team performance against University last week, coach Shane Paap will be looking for a repeat.

The Lifenet A-Reserves will look to consolidate top spot on the ladder, secured courtesy of a strong win over University last week, and again the accent will be on the club’s youthful group.

Having played in the last two grand finals, winning the premiership last year, with a team bulging with exciting young talent, the club is in a good position as this group transitions from colts to senior football.

The Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts were given a timely reminder last week of the gap they need to close on the top team in the competition – after being soundly beaten by University – and that should be a powerful motivator going forward.

Themselves unbeaten until last week’s run-in with University, the colts will aim for a strong response today.

The Hybrid Linings D1-Grade will look to claim four important premiership points when they play Wembley at Pat Goodridge Reserve.

As is the case across the senior squad, this is a youthful combination, and that usually means form fluctuations in form. That has been evident in the first one-third of the season, but their best is captivating.

The Coast to Coast Imports D1-Reserves will also contest what looms as an intriguing match against Wembley on their home deck while the Red Hill Brett Jones Colts while play a twilight game against Fremantle CBC at Morris Buzzacott Reserve (Apologies for jumping the gun and proclaiming this fixture a week ago).

The Express Bins E2-Grade have been charging along and sit at the top of the table, a position they will look to consolidate when they play Bassendean on Charles Riley (2).

That match will be preceded by the Fusion E3s playing Piara Waters and after travelling the length and breadth of the metropolitan area, they will surely appreciate playing at home.

Round 7
Galleria Toyota A-Grade women
Quinns Ditsricts v North Beach, Friday 7.45pm, Arena Joondalup
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach v Wanneroo, Charles Riley Reserve, 2.30pm
Lifenet A-Reserves
North Beach v Wanneroo, Charles Riley Reserve, 12.35pm
Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
North Beach v Wanneroo, Charles Riley Reserve, 10.40am
Hybrid Linings D1-Grade
Wembley v North Beach, Pat Goodridge Reserve, 2.30pm
Coast to Coast Imports D1-Reserves
Wembley v North Beach, Pat Goodridge Reserve, 12.35pm
Red Hill Brett Jones Colts
Fremantle CBC v North Beach, Morris Buzzacott Reserve, 4.45pm
Express Bins E2-Grade
North Beach v Bassendean, Charles Riley Reserve (2), 2.30pm
Fusion E3-Grade
North Beach v Piara Waters, Charles Riley Reserve (2), 12.35pm
JA Constructions I-Grade
Fremantle CBC Gold v North Beach, Alan Edwards Reserve, 2.30pm

Olympic duo an inspiration (post on May 18, 2018)

Jake excelled on the basketball court

Jake excelled on the basketball court

By Gary Stocks
Over the last 15 months the character and personality of the North Beach Football Club has been inexorably transformed.

The club first attempted to pull together an Integrated Rules team last season, for young men and women of special needs, succeded in  growing the numbers this year and they have had a profound effect on our club.

The first steps to get a team rolling in 2017 failed, but the exercise was far from a futile. A handful of players trained every Tuesday night in their North Beach guernseys and formed a unique bond with the Year 12 team from the junior club.

Every week the final drill of the junior session incorporated the integrated boys. It was impossible to be unmoved by the unity and the impact that simple exercise achieved. It was of mutual benefit.

This year the team has played as part of the WAAFL’s I-Grade competition after an extensive recruiting drive. Some of the players were even involved in a curtain-raiser at Optus Stadium!

Aside from their growing stature in Australian football, the sporting prowess of two players has been recognised more broadly. Jordan and Jake represented their State in the recent Special Olympics National Games in Adelaide.

Jordan won equestrian gold

Jordan won equestrian gold

Jordan was chosen from the 75 Western Australian athletics to be the flag bearer. He carried the flag at the opening and closing ceremonies so proudly. Then he competed in the equestrian events. The equestrian competition was held about an hour north of Adelaide in Mallala. It made for long days, but Jordan had a ball. He won Gold in the working trail, 4th in English equitation and 5th in dressage. Despite the week having its fair share of challenges for Jake, he had a terrific time at the games.

He played basketball and after placing the WA team in the higher division – and then losing the team captain one game into the competition – the challenge became infinitely more challenging.

Jake had to step up for the team and was its highest scorer. Unfortunately, WA missed out on a medal, but the mixed team came home with gold. The enthusiasm, courage, resilience and sportsmanship shown by all the athletes made it an absolute pleasure for spectators.

All athletes did WA proud, but the North Beach family was especially rapt for Jordan and Jake.

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