Tigers No Match For Thunder: League

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 2:25 PM

The first of Claremont’s pre-season matches took place at Claremont Oval on Saturday, with a youthful Tigers team, missing several first-choice players, suffering a 59-point defeat to a Peel Thunder team featuring 12 AFL-listed players.

Despite the Tigers dominating uncontested marks for most of the match, they were unable to penetrate Peel’s set-up and defence as the visitors’ superiority around the stoppages and six-goal-to-two first half paved the way for their 13.11 (89) to 4.6 (30) triumph.

Jye Bolton, Jake Murphy, Haydn Busher, Kane Mitchell, Jared Hardisty, Jack Richardson and Nick Winmar were some of the names who didn’t feature for Claremont, while Tom Lee made a successful comeback in the Reserves as he works his way back to full fitness following shoulder surgery last year.

Morgan Davies was a shining light for the Tigers with his uncompromising attack on the ball and ability to drive the team forward, while Alex Manuel was the team’s only multiple goal kicker.

Shaquille Morton and Ryan Lim were others who impressed in an otherwise disappointing performance.

An early smother from Tom Shanahan was reflective of the contested start to the game as both teams cracked in to try and gain the early ascendancy, before a partial smother from Keifer Yu prevented Peel’s Leroy Jetta from kicking the opening goal of the game.

However, the visitors didn’t have to wait long, as Haydn Matthews made the Tigers pay from a 50m penalty and gave Peel a nine-point lead.

An inspiring tackle from Davies on Peel captain Gerald Ugle earned the tenacious Tiger a free-kick, before a groggy Eddie Simpson left the field for Claremont but would return.

An intercept mark from Manuel saw the hardworking Tiger kick Claremont’s first goal, before consecutive majors gave Peel a 14-point lead at the first change.

Claremont coach Darren Harris paid credit to the team’s structure but implored them to improve at the stoppages, with the Tigers well beaten in that area but dominating uncontested marks.

A quick goal to Peel gave the visitors three in a row and a 20-point lead early in the second term, before a great chase and tackle from Manuel reaffirmed the Tigers’ appetite for the contest.

Corey Mitchell then ran into an open goal after a pinpoint pass from new captain Ian Richardson to pull the Tigers to within 14 points, before Peel again responded with consecutive majors to take a 32-point lead at the main change.

Goals to Richardson and Manuel (second) were the highlights of the third term for Claremont, however, with the Tigers needing to capitalise with the breeze at their backs, a wasteful return of 2.4 meant the team could only trim the margin to 28 points at the final change.

A disappointing final term from Claremont saw Peel slam on five goals to nil and prevail in commanding fashion.

The Tigers host Perth at the same venue on Saturday.

CLAREMONT 1.1 2.1 4.5 4.6 (30)

PEEL THUNDER 3.3 6.9 8.9 13.11 (89)

By Dan Scamozzi