Round 12 League: Tigers Claw Past Sharks

Monday, July 1, 2019 - 10:25 AM

By Dan Scamozzi

Claremont recorded a hard-fought 10-point victory against East Fremantle in tricky conditions at New Choice Homes Park in round 12, moving the Tigers into second position on the ladder after their fourth consecutive win.

The Tigers’ 10.6 (66) to 7.14 (56) triumph was their seventh consecutive win against the wasteful Sharks but was anything but straightforward.

Despite recording less disposals, tackles, inside 50s and scoring shots than the hosts, the Tigers’ willingness to persevere and ability to take their chances saw them prevail.

There was also an uplifting and inspirational element attached to the win, with respected midfielder Jake Murphy (seven tackles) playing his first League game since the final round of the 2017 season.

Powerful midfielder Declan Mountford (team-high 25 disposals, equal game-high eight tackles) continued his outstanding form to win best player and the players’ player award for the second week in a row, while utility Haydn Busher (23 disposals, game-high 11 marks) delivered a highly-influential performance with his ferocious attack on the contest and commitment to the cause.

Brilliant defenders Bailey Rogers (23 disposals) and Anton Hamp, who was moved forward late in the game and gave the team tremendous service at both ends of the ground, were also prominent while co-captain Kane Mitchell (24 disposals, eight marks, equal game-high eight tackles) kicked two crucial goals in the final term to help will the Tigers over the line.

Murphy and Jared Hardisty, who also returned for his first game of the season but sustained a corked quad in the second term and took no further part in the game, came into the team that defeated East Perth in round 11 for fellow midfielders Jye Bolton (concussion) and Bailey Bennett (omitted), as co-captain Ian Richardson elected to kick to the southern end of the ground in the opening term with the aid of a breeze.

Richardson kicked the game’s opening goal in the second minute before a flying snap from Mountford saw the Tigers take a 14-point lead entering time-on.

The smooth-moving Anthony Treacy then brilliantly finished with the outside of his boot to give the Tigers the only three goals of the term and a 20-point lead at quarter-time, with the visitors +6 in clearances, +4 in tackles and +9 in inside 50s, with coach Darren Harris praising the team for winning territory and laying a remarkable nine tackles inside 50m.

The Sharks then dominated the second term but kicked a wasteful 2.7 as the Tigers struggled to clear the ball from defence but kicked a telling goal at the 29-minute mark through Alec Waterman after a great contest from Richardson at half-forward, as the hosts trimmed the lead to seven points at half-time.

A goal from Kody Manning gave East Fremantle the lead for the first time early in the second half before Treacy kicked his second for the Tigers.

An inspirational smother from defender Dylan Smallwood epitomised the Tiger’s impact on the contest, before the Sharks retook the lead.

A team-lifting tackle from Jack Bradshaw at half-back resulted in Richardson setting up vice-captain Tom Lee for the Tigers’ sixth goal as the visitors took a four-point lead at the final change.

With Hamp now being switched forward for the final term, a goal from Mitchell gave the Tigers a 10-point lead before Tom Monaghan replied for the Sharks.

Mitchell then kicked his second after a great contest from Hamp at half-forward and a pinpoint pass from Richardson, before Luke Strnadica kicked his second goal for the Sharks.

What happened next was a stroke of genius from the skilful and influential Richardson.

After gathering the ball under pressure on the half-forward flank, Richardson instinctively delivered a brilliant squaring pass to the corridor with his deadly left boot where Bradshaw marked without having to break stride before kicking the Tigers’ ninth goal.

Strnadica replied for the Sharks with his third goal before prominent defender Dec Hardisty iced the game for the Tigers courtesy of consecutive 50m penalties, before Hamp denied the hosts on the last line of defence with a goal-saving touch.

The Tigers will aim for their fifth consecutive win when they host third-placed South Fremantle in NAIDOC Round at Claremont Oval in round 13.

CLAREMONT 3.3 4.3 6.4 10.6 (66)

EAST FREMANTLE 0.1 2.8 4.12 7.14 (56)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 2 K. Mitchell, A. Treacy, 1 T. Lee, I. Richardson, J. Bradshaw, A. Waterman, D. Mountford, D. Hardisty.

EAST FREMANTLE: 3 L. Strnadica, 1 K. Manning, C. Eardley, M. Murdock, T. Monaghan.

BEST

CLAREMONT: D. Mountford, H. Busher, B. Rogers, A. Hamp, K. Mitchell.

EAST FREMANTLE: B. Boekhorst, M. Jupp, C. Eardley, N. Kommer, D. Winton.