Tigers Pipped By Thunder: Reserves

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 2:20 PM

The first of Claremont’s Reserves’ pre-season matches took place at Claremont Oval on Saturday, with Peel Thunder recording a 13-point win against the Tigers.

In warm but windy conditions, a three-goal-to-nil second term paved the way for Peel’s 13.9 (87) to 11.8 (74) win against a Tigers outfit featuring a host of new faces.

A five-goal-to-two third term, described by new Claremont coach Steven Armstrong as “awesome”, was a big positive for the Tigers as well as the performances from several players.

Ben Higgs is a player who can play at both ends of the ground but seems to have added another string to his bow, with the utility, who captained the team, combining his time in the midfield and forward line with aplomb as he worked hard around the ground and also drove the Tigers forward and kicked one goal.

Ben Rushforth, James Egan, Lewis Davis and Jake Stergiou were others who impressed, while Tom Lee led the goal kicking with two majors and worked tirelessly before icing his shoulder in the final term as he works his way back to full fitness following surgery last year.

The Tigers had 10 goal kickers, but will look to improve on the basics and the way they transition the ball from defence ahead of their next game.

A clever goal from Cooper Nitschke in the opening minute of the game gave Claremont a brilliant start, before Peel hit back with two majors.

The hardworking Egan then mowed down an opponent to earn himself a free-kick and kick the Tigers’ second, before Peel hit back with three consecutive goals to take a 22-point lead.

Goals to Higgs and Lee soon followed, with the latter set up by some repeat efforts and a smart handball from Damon Enosa, to leave the Tigers trailing by 10 points at the first change.

Armstrong implored the team to fix the simple things and the defenders to get tighter but, unfortunately for the Tigers, a disappointing second term saw Peel kick three unanswered goals to extend their lead to 27 points at the main change.

An early goal to start the second half gave the visitors four in a row and a commanding 34-point lead, before the Tigers kicked into gear.

Five of the next six goals, including a second to Lee, saw Claremont trailing by just nine points at the final change after a barnstorming and brilliant third term.

However, the Tigers were unable to pull off a comeback, with Peel kicking three goals to two in the final term to prevail.

The Tigers host Perth at the same venue on Saturday.

In the earlier games, Peel Thunder recorded a 40-point win against Claremont in the Colts, 14.15 (99) to 9.5. (59), while the visitors also prevailed in the 16s, 4.11 (35) to 3.13 (31).

CLAREMONT 4.1 4.3 9.6 11.8 (74)

PEEL THUNDER 5.5 8.6 10.9 13.9 (87)

By Dan Scamozzi