Grand Final Preview
It’s the biggest day on the Perth Football League calendar and this year brings with it an extra level of intrigue as the rivalry between the Scarborough Football Club and North Beach goes to another level.
That’s right, it’s Grand Final time and the Peard Seniors head out to Steel Blue Oval in Bassendean to take on the old enemy in the biggest Battle of the Beaches since the Club returned to the A Grade competition.
Steel Blue Oval, Old Perth Road, Bassendean
A Grade Grand Final – 2:45pm
Peard Seniors (4) vs North Beach (2)
Last 5 games –
Peard Seniors – W L W W (SF1) W (PF)
North Beach – W W W W W (SF2)
Last Time They Met –
Rnd 6 – Peard Seniors 6.5-41 def. by North Beach 9.8-62
Two fierce rivals are set to write another chapter in their storied history on Saturday as the Peard Seniors take on North Beach for the Sandover Shield in the A Grade Grand Final at Steel Blue Oval.
Coming into the game on the back of a gritty win over minor premiers Curtin Uni Wesley in the Preliminary Final last weekend, the Peard Seniors enter the season finale with momentum and are out to make it three from three in Grand Finals against North Beach.
North Beach have had a week off to recover from a hard slog against Curtin Uni Wesley where they fell over the line with a one point win in the 2nd Semi Final.
North Beach claimed bragging rights over the Peard Seniors earlier in the year when they claimed a 21 point win in round six. In that game, the Seniors got within three points in the last quarter before North Beach put on three late goals to take the game away. This time, though, it’s a completely different ball game.
The rivalry between the clubs is well known and dates back to the mid 70’s. When Scarborough moved to its current home at Millington from Abbett Park, North Beach felt like the club was encroaching on its turf while Scarborough always felt North Beach got the rub of the green from a league perspective. On field, the clubs have had some ferocious contests over the years. They love the scrap and nothing more than getting one up on the other, while the passion from the supporters on both sides keeps that fire burning.
The clubs have met twice in Grand Finals and on each of those occasions Scarborough reigned supreme, so the Peard Seniors can take confidence in the fact that history is on their side.
The first of those encounters came way back in 1981 in B Grade when Scarborough claimed a relatively convincing win and was set to be promoted for the following season but in a controversial and much maligned decision the league decided to promote North Beach in its place, adding fuel to an already fierce rivalry.
The other, and most recent, occasion when the two clubs met in the deciding fixture was in 1998. On this occasion the result was much closer with Scarborough claiming a 14 point win.
On Saturday, there will be a number of factors that will decide the result. The Peard Seniors come in with a younger side, with an average age of 24 compared to North Beach with an average age of 27, but when it comes to WAFL experience the Peard Seniors have 12 players to have played in the state’s top level competition. North Beach aren’t lacking in this area either, with nine players to have played WAFL football so it will all come down to who handles the situation better.
The Peard Seniors also have the benefit of having 12 players from the 2018 Premiership team, including club stalwarts Blair Ranford, Chris Baker, Scott Tyres and Club President Curtis Reddell, whose experience in big games can be drawn on by the younger players in the side.
North Beach will need to find an answer for the Peard Seniors’ big men up forward. Scott Worthington has been in fantastic form all year and was equal leading goal scorer for the league but they will also need to be mindful of the dangerous power forward Marc Re, who won the award in 2018. Both are more than capable of kicking a bag but they’ve had plenty of support, with their small forwards and midfielders doing a great job of spreading the load and contributing on the scoreboard throughout the year.
The Peard Seniors will need to stop North Beach’s run out of the midfield. They boast a powerful engine room and the Seniors will need to be wary of CJ Jameson medallist Joey Deegan, who has a canny knack of finding the ball but also receives plenty of protection from the likes of Adam Cockie and Beau Witheridge. The Peard Seniors mids have worked hard over the past month in particular and will rely heavily on the likes of 2018 BJ Giles medallist Joel Ashman, Liam Robilliard and Chris Baker to keep the pressure up through the middle of the ground.
The ruck duel is also going to be an interesting one to watch with North Beach big man Kyle Cranley having a solid year, coming runner up in the CJ Jameson medal. The Peard Seniors will likely draw on the experience of Aidan Parker while backing in the form of Lewis Putt. The young Putt has done a great job since making his league debut earlier in the year and comes from a fine pedigree, with father Ian an A Grade Premiership player with the club and also named in the Team of the First 50 Years.
It’s been a long time between drinks for North Beach, having not won an A Grade flag since their dominant run came to an end in 2010. Their last Grand Final appearance was in 2017 when they underestimated a wounded Trinity Aquinas.
The Peard Seniors are looking to win their second flag in three years after claiming their drought breaking Premiership in 2018. Prior to this, their previous Grand Final appearance was in 2016 where they also fell to Trinity Aquinas.
With the history between the two clubs, Saturday is set to huge and the League are anticipating a crowd of around 5000 people to be there to watch the game.
They are also encouraging Scarborough supporters to set up in the Swan Can Bar on the grass bank, with North Beach setting up on the grandstand side. This is not a strict rule, just a preference, so if you prefer to watch from the grandstand side there is no issue; however, with North Beach also having their Reserves side playing they will likely lay claim to swathes of the stand and upstairs bar.
With it all on the line and the biggest of bragging rights available to the victor, we’re set for a massive afternoon out a Steel Blue Oval on Saturday so make sure you get down and get behind the boys to help get them over the line.
For those who can’t get to the game, it will be live streamed through the PFL Facebook page and will be broadcast live by ABC Radio on 720AM, through the ABC Listen App or online at https://www.abc.net.au/radio/perth/live/.