Round 13 Reserves: Ledger Leads The Way

Monday, July 8, 2019 - 10:53 AM

By Dan Scamozzi

Midfielder Tom Ledger helped Claremont’s Reserves record their 10th consecutive win after the Tigers scraped past South Fremantle by 15 points in a scrappy encounter at Claremont Oval in round 13.

Showers before the game impacted the contest as just one goal was kicked in the opening term before the Tigers kicked four goals in the second as they eventually prevailed 9.10 (64) to 7.7 (49).

Ledger (game-high 26 disposals, equal game-high six inside 50s), who kicks the ball on both sides of his body as well as anyone in the WAFL, was omitted from the League team but displayed the utmost professionalism in response to his demotion as he led from the front and laid seven tackles in a hardworking and inspirational performance that resulted in him winning best player.

Fellow midfielder Rylie Morgan laid a game-high 14 tackles while defender Ben Edwards (17 disposals, five tackles), who is putting together a brilliant season and can fulfil a number of roles, delivered another prominent performance and won the players’ player award.

Combative ruckman Jordon Reid (10 tackles, 30 hit-outs), who continues to improve with every game and is thriving under the tutelage of ruck coach and WAFL legend Percy Johnson, had an enthralling duel with South Fremantle’s Blair Della Franca and gave the Tigers great service with his vigour and second efforts, while midfielder Jordan Law was another solid contributor.

Jake Murphy (seven tackles), Alec Waterman (seven tackles), Tyron Smallwood and Jake Anderson joined Ledger as inclusions to the team that defeated East Fremantle seven days earlier, as the Tigers kicked to the northern end of the ground in the opening term.

A high-flying mark from reliable full-back Fraser Gilbert was a rare highlight before South’s Cody Ditchburn kicked the only goal of the opening term.

Tackles from the hardworking Isaac Barton were another highlight but turnovers were hurting the Tigers as they trailed the Bulldogs by four points at quarter-time despite being +7 in contested disposals, with coach Brayden Duckworth urging the team to move the ball forward and win territory.

A high-flying mark from Jake Stergiou resulted in the returning Anderson dribbling through the Tigers’ first goal early in the second term before Reid laid a crunching tackle that earned him a free kick in midfield.

Goals to Bailey Bennett and Smallwood then gave the Tigers three in a row and an 11-point lead before the Bulldogs replied with consecutive majors.

A neat chain of passes then saw Waterman kick truly to give the Tigers a six-point lead at half-time before Chris “CJ” Oakley ran into an open goal early in the second half.

Three goals in four minutes saw the Bulldogs reclaim the lead before Oakley kicked his second after a brilliant pass from Morgan, before Edwards was rewarded for a great tackle as the Tigers took a three-point lead at the final change.

+13 in contested disposals and +7 in inside 50s were indications of the Tigers working their way on top of the Bulldogs, as Duckworth encouraged the team to “keep winning territory”.

However, an early goal to the Bulldogs gave the visitors the lead in the early stages of the final term, before Stergiou hauled in a strong mark at full-back.

A quick transition saw the hardworking Jacob Sideris (nine tackles) reclaim the lead for the Tigers before Waterman kicked his second goal, with the latter resulting from repeat efforts from defender Lewis Daisley to keep the ball moving forward.

Law then did his best impersonation of Matthew Scarlett in the 2009 AFL Grand Final as he toe-poked the ball to Barton who ran in to kick the Tigers’ ninth goal and seal another win for the top-of-the-table hosts.

The Tigers will aim for their 11th consecutive win when they face Subiaco at Leederville Oval in round 14.

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Colts recorded consecutive wins after defeating South Fremantle by 54 points, 13.10 (88) to 5.4 (34).

CLAREMONT 0.2 4.4 6.8 9.10 (64)

SOUTH FREMANTLE 1.0 3.4 6.5 7.7 (49)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 2 A. Waterman, C. Oakley, 1 B. Bennett, J. Sideris, T. Smallwood, J. Anderson, I. Barton.

SOUTH FREMANTLE: 2 J. Redman, 1 T. Abbott, T. Reed, C. Ditchburn, T. Weston, G. Barnes.

BEST

CLAREMONT: T. Ledger, R. Morgan, B. Edwards, J. Reid, J. Law.

SOUTH FREMANTLE: B. Della Franca, M. Ward, G. Barnes, G. Byron, J. Redman.