Round 2 League: Tigers Pounce On Falcons

Monday, April 15, 2019 - 11:33 AM

By Dan Scamozzi 

A ruthless Claremont recorded consecutive wins after thumping a lacklustre West Perth by 56 points in fine conditions at Joondalup Arena in round two of the 2019 Optus WAFL Premiership Season.

The clinical and accurate Tigers slammed on 12 goals to three after quarter-time, including eight goals to one in the second half as they prevailed 14.4 (88) to 4.8 (32).

The Tigers recorded 56 more disposals, 54 more marks, 23 more hit-outs, nine more inside 50s and six more scoring shots than the Falcons, as they applied fierce pressure to the hosts and punished them with their ruthless finishing.

Ever-improving ruckman Jeremy Goddard (45 hit-outs) dominated his duel with West Perth’s Troy Yukich and gave Claremont’s midfield first use, while robust defender Bailey Rogers (16 disposals, four marks) was part of a miserly defence that blanketed their opponents.

Sandover medallists and ball magnets Kane Mitchell (game-high 37 disposals) and Jye Bolton (36 disposals, team-high seven inside 50s, one goal) capitalised on Goddard’s dominance and worked tirelessly, with fellow midfielders Declan Mountford (20 disposals, eight tackles) and Bailey Bennett (17 disposals, one goal) also impressing and teaming together to nullify West Perth captain Aaron Black.

Mitchell’s brilliance saw him named Claremont’s best player and win the players’ player award and included eight tackles, while vice-captain Tom Lee tore West Perth’s defence to shreds as he hauled in five marks and kicked a game-high five goals.

And then there was Alec Waterman, whose inspiring tale of resilience and determination resulted in the Tiger making his Claremont League debut and included two thumping goals.

Waterman and fan favourite Jack Beeck came into the team for Haydn Busher (calf) and Matt Palfrey (groin) as the Tigers kicked to the southern end of the ground in the opening term, but it was former Tiger Keegan Knott who gave the Falcons an early lead.

Bennett soon replied for the Tigers before Falcon Dylan Yem was knocked out after clashing heads with defender Dylan Smallwood and had to be stretchered from the ground.

Tenacious Tiger Jack Lewsey, who was given the task of guarding Knott, then hauled in an impressive mark at full-back before Lee converted a pinpoint pass from the busy Mitchell to give the Tigers a six-point lead at quarter-time.

With the Tigers leading clearances and Mitchell, Bolton and Mountford finding plenty of the ball, coach Darren Harris praised the team’s pressing and winning of territory, before a smother from Mountford and a tackle from Bolton on West Perth’s Corey Chalmers, with the latter earning a free kick, early in the second term reiterated the Tigers’ appetite for the contest.

Rebounding defender Lachlan Martinis, who would go on to play a fine game, then hauled in a strong mark before reliable defender Declan Hardisty kicked the first goal of his career after splitting the middle from 50m. 

Waterman then did likewise from an almost identical position before Goddard brilliantly tapped the ball behind his head to a waiting Bolton who snapped the Tigers’ fifth goal.

The Falcons replied with consecutive goals before Tyron Smallwood brilliantly finished from tight in the pocket, with Goddard now putting on a rucking masterclass and Bolton and Mountford capitalising with their superb work in clearances.

The result was an 18-point lead at half-time, with the Tigers +18 in hit-outs and Bolton and Mitchell each recording 19 disposals for the half.

Waterman then landed a bomb that sailed over the goal umpire’s hat and over the fence at the southern end early in the second half, with Mountford laying two tackles in the opening stages of the third term.

Jack Bradshaw, who recorded a game-high nine marks, then finished with aplomb from 50m before Oliver Eastland converted a trademark snap, before Mountford laid another tackle and was rewarded with a free kick.

Spearing passes from Eastland and Bradshaw then led to Lee kicking his second goal before the spearhead split the middle with his third just moments later as the Tigers broke the game open with a scintillating 15 minutes of play.

Knott replied with his second and what would turn out to be the Falcons’ final goal, before a brilliant kick from Bolton to full-forward resulted in Lee kicking his third goal for the term and a 46-point lead to the Tigers at the final change.

Harris praised the Tigers’ spread and connection, before Eastland was rewarded for his forward pressure and kicked his second goal early in the final term.

Lee then capped off a memorable win with his fifth, with Mitchell fittingly involved, before the Tigers nearly lifted the roof off the change rooms with a stirring rendition of the team song, with Waterman in the middle of the circle.

The Tigers will aim for three consecutive wins when they face East Perth at Leederville Oval in round three.

CLAREMONT2.1 6.2 12.2 14.4 (88)

WEST PERTH 1.1 3.2 4.4 4.8 (32)

GOALS

CLAREMONT:5 T. Lee, 2 A. Waterman, O. Eastland, 1 J. Bradshaw, J. Bolton, B. Bennett, T. Smallwood, D. Hardisty.

WEST PERTH: 2 K. Knott, 1 T. Manzone, L. Tedesco.

BEST

CLAREMONT:K. Mitchell, J. Bolton, T. Lee, D. Mountford, B. Rogers.

WEST PERTH: R. Riddoch, B. King, L. Rasmussen, L. Tedesco, C. West.