League 1st Semi Final: Tigers Outlast West Coast

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 11:29 AM

By Dan Scamozzi

Desire, intent, application, selflessness and mateship were all key aspects of Claremont’s thrilling and hard-fought six-point win against West Coast in sublime conditions in the first semifinal at Revo Fitness Stadium.

In a ferocious contest which featured nearly 200 tackles and was played at a high intensity, the Tigers prevailed 10.6 (66) to 8.12 (60) on the back of a brilliant team performance which included every player playing their role, and a greater appetite for the contest.

The Tigers also prevailed on the back of winning the midfield battle, led by the brilliant Jye Bolton (game-high 40 disposals, equal game-high six inside 50s), who won best player for his best-afield performance which included an incredible work rate to drive the team forward.

Unflappable defender Dylan Smallwood (six tackles) starred with his superb reading of the play and repelling of the visitors, while co-captain Kane Mitchell (29 disposals, six tackles, one goal) rode shotgun to Bolton as he won several clearances and also dominated with his work rate.

Midfielders Dec Mountford (11 tackles) and Jared Hardisty (six) were also pivotal in the middle with their attack on the contest, while Jeremy Goddard (six tackles, 34 hit-outs) and Oliver Eastland (seven tackles, 13 hit-outs, two goals) combined to quell West Coast’s tall timber.

Meanwhile, co-captain Ian Richardson won the players’ player award (21 of 22 votes) for his inspirational performance, which included the No.4 putting his body on the line to create a goal for fellow forward Anthony Treacy in the final term.

Unfortunately, Richardson suffered an injury to his collarbone during the inspirational passage of play and may have played his last game.

Forwards Tom Lee and Alec Waterman, along with the lively Harrison McCracken, came into the team for Jack Bradshaw (knee/retired), Tom Ledger (cork) and Tyron Smallwood as the Tigers won the toss and kicked to the northern end of the ground in the opening term.

A fierce start to the game resulted in repeat stoppages as both teams cracked in to try and gain early ascendancy, before goals to West Coast’s Nick Reid and Bailey Williams gave the visitors a 14-point lead approaching time-on.

Treacy then produced a bursting run and snapped truly after an inside 50 from Mitchell, before Waterman won a holding-the-ball free kick and set sail from 50m to kick the Tigers’ second goal and level the scores at quarter-time.

With the Tigers +6 in clearances and inside 50s, coach Darren Harris praised the team’s shape and encouraged them to go at the game, before Lee gave the hosts the lead for the first time early in the second term after converting a clearance from Eastland.

Jordan Law then extended the advantage to 11 points, with the Tigers now producing better composure going forward and lowering their eyes, before Reid kicked consecutive goals either side of another mark from D. Smallwood.

Eastland then reclaimed the lead for the Tigers when he grabbed the ball out of the ruck and snapped truly, before Brendon Ah Chee kicked West Coast’s fifth goal.

D. Smallwood then hauled in another mark, before the lightning-quick Jack Petruccelle gave West Coast a seven-point lead at half-time despite the Tigers recording 16 more clearances for the half.

A ferocious tackle from D. Smallwood on Ah Chee at half-back earned the Tiger a free kick and resulted in Mitchell levelling the scores in the ninth minute of the third term, before Lee kicked his second goal after the Tigers surged the ball forward.

Williams then levelled the scores with his second major, before wingman Ryan Lim split the middle after a brilliant effort from reliable defender Dec Hardisty created the goal.

Eastland then kicked his second major after finishing with aplomb from the pocket to give the Tigers a nine-point lead at the final change.

Liam Duggan trimmed the lead to two points when he kicked West Coast’s eighth goal in the early stages of the final term, before an arm wrestle engulfed the next 10 minutes of play.

A smother from Law and Richardson’s inspirational effort allowed Treacy to kick his second goal and gave the Tigers a seven-point lead, before fatigue began to set in for both teams and the arm wrestle resumed.

A crunching bump from D. Hardisty in front of the interchange was another example of the Tigers’ appetite for the contest and willingness to put their bodies on the line, before stoppages once again engulfed the contest as both teams pushed for the win.

In the end, though, the Tigers held on for a deserved and memorable victory in their final home game for the season, with Richardson chaired from the ground as he received a standing ovation from the adoring Tiger Army.

The Tigers will now face South Fremantle in the preliminary final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval, with the winner to face Subiaco in the Grand Final at Optus Stadium.

CLAREMONT 2.2 5.2 9.4 10.6 (66)

WEST COAST 2.2 6.3 7.7 8.12 (60)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 2 T. Lee, O. Eastland, A. Treacy, 1 K. Mitchell, R. Lim, A. Waterman, J. Law.

WEST COAST: 3 N. Reid, 2 B. Williams, 1 L. Duggan, J. Petruccelle, B. Ah Chee.

BEST

CLAREMONT: J. Bolton, D. Smallwood, K. Mitchell, D. Mountford, J. Hardisty.

WEST COAST: F. Watson, H. Brayshaw, D. Petrie, A. Fisher, J. Rotham