Round 17 League: Tigers Pip Thunder

Monday, August 5, 2019 - 11:46 AM

By Dan Scamozzi

Claremont recorded a thrilling and crucial two-point win against a wasteful Peel Thunder at David Grays Arena in round 17, giving the Tigers consecutive wins and sewing up a top-three position on the ladder.

The 13.7 (85) to 11.17 (83) triumph was hard-fought, clinical, and the Tigers’ 11th win of the season.

After again starting the contest slowly and trailing at half-time, the Tigers hit their straps in the third term for the second week in a row, kicking six goals to two to take the lead at the final change before prevailing in a tense finish.

Despite Peel recording five more inside 50s and eight more scoring shots, the Tigers were more efficient with their forward entries and dug deep when the game was on the line.

When it comes to determination, discipline and consistency, defender Dec Hardisty embodies all three traits and was again at his reliable best.

Given the task of stopping powerful forward Blair Bell, Hardisty blanketed the dual premiership player and restricted him to just two marks and one behind to deservedly win best player and the players’ player award.

Co-captain and workhorse Kane Mitchell (36 disposals, eight tackles, one goal) got better as the game wore on and produced a desperate smother at full-back in the closing stages of the contest to prevent Peel from exiting the Tigers’ forward line, while tenacious defender Jack Lewsey repelled the hosts on several occasions and continued his brilliant form.

Midfielder Jye Bolton recorded a game-high 39 disposals and kicked a late behind as the Tigers pushed for victory, while ruckman Jeremy Goddard (14 disposals, one goal) won a game-high 52 hit-outs and his duel with Peel’s Scott Jones.

Meanwhile, forward Alec Waterman kicked a game-high three goals and was instrumental in the Tigers turning the game on its head in the third term for the second week in a row, while co-captain Ian Richardson (one goal) recorded a team-high seven marks and game-high eight inside 50s as he provided a valuable link between the midfield and forward line.

In further good news, hardworking forward Isaac Barton made his debut after outstanding form in the Reserves and led the team from the ground after the final siren.

Wingman Ben Rushforth joined Barton in the team as the duo replaced Jack Bradshaw and Lachie Martinis (ankle), as the Tigers kicked to the northern end of the ground in the opening term.

Consecutive goals to Peel gave the hosts a 12-point lead before Barton set up Mitchell for the Tigers’ first major.

Fremantle’s Cam McCarthy replied for Peel before full-forward and vice-captain Tom Lee hauled in a strong contested mark and kicked truly after repeat efforts from centre-half-forward Kaiden Gilbert.

Fremantle’s Hugh Dixon then kicked Peel’s fourth goal to give the hosts a 15-point lead at quarter-time, with the Tigers trailing in almost every area of the game as coach Darren Harris urged the team to increase its intensity and communication.

Fremantle’s Hayden Ballantyne kicked the opening goal of the second term to extend Peel’s lead to 21 points before Richardson found Waterman, who ran into an open goal to kick a timely major for the Tigers.

Ballantyne replied with his second goal before Ryan Lim split the middle from a standing start and Matt Palfrey kicked truly from the pocket to pull the Tigers to within 12 points at half-time.

Waterman then snapped accurately in the early stages of the second half before Goddard gave the Tigers the lead for the first time, before McCarthy replied with his second goal.

Palfrey then kicked his second major from a tight angle after receiving a spearing pass from Lee, before the latter was involved again as Dec Mountford (team-high nine tackles) reclaimed the lead for the Tigers.

Waterman then kicked his third goal to give the Tigers some breathing space before Ryan Bennell kicked truly for Peel, who had been peppering the goals but spraying their shots.

Richardson then split the middle with a trademark finish from 50m to give the Tigers a seven-point lead at the final change.

With the Tigers +6 in tackles, Harris praised the team for its improved communication and implored them to keep it going, as a second goal to Lee gave the visitors a perfect start to the final term.

Consecutive goals to Peel levelled the scores approaching time-on before Anthony Treacy kicked the Tigers’ 13th goal, before Fremantle’s Brett Bewley levelled them again in the 24th minute.

The Tigers then locked the ball in their front half and were able to scramble consecutive behinds to prevail in a nail-biting finish.

The Tigers will aim for three consecutive wins when they host West Perth at Claremont Oval in round 18.

CLAREMONT 2.1 5.2 11.4 13.7 (85)

PEEL THUNDER 4.4 6.8 8.15 11.17 (83)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 3 A. Waterman, 2 T. Lee, M. Palfrey, 1 K. Mitchell, I. Richardson, R. Lim, D. Mountford, J. Goddard, A. Treacy.

PEEL THUNDER: 2 H. Ballantyne, C. McCarthy, R. Bennell, 1 H. Dixon, M. Bogensperger, B. Bewley, J. Sturrock, L. Cullen.

BEST

CLAREMONT: D. Hardisty, K. Mitchell, J. Lewsey, J. Bolton, J. Goddard, A. Waterman.

PEEL THUNDER: T. Colyer, T. Bennell, D. O’Reilly, J. Sturrock, C. McCarthy.