Reserves Grand Final: Tigers Pipped By Falcons

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 9:20 AM

By Dan Scamozzi

Claremont’s Reserves suffered a heartbreaking loss against a ferocious West Perth in glorious conditions in the Grand Final at Optus Stadium, with the Falcons’ intensity and pressure (102 tackles) laying the foundations for their six-point win, 9.12 (66) to 9.6 (60).

In a physical and bruising contest, the Tigers recorded nine more inside 50s than the Falcons but missed some crucial shots for goal in the final term when they were desperately pushing for victory.

Despite suffering just their second loss for the season and not taking home the ultimate prize, the Tigers can be proud of their efforts and will now regroup as they aim to go one better in 2020.

Respected and retiring midfielder Jake Murphy (21 disposals, eight tackles, five inside 50s, one goal) won best player for his brilliant performance, which included an inspirational smother late in the game to deny the Falcons a shot for goal.

Hard-running wingman Callan England (game-high 28 disposals, equal game-high six marks, game-high seven inside 50s, one goal) gave the Tigers tremendous service as he drove the team forward, with fellow wingman Tom Ledger another strong performer.

Brilliant ruckman Jordon Reid (15 disposals, five marks, game-high 35 hit-outs, one goal) capped off his outstanding season with another strong performance and starred with his repeat efforts, while hardworking forward Jordan Law laid a team-high nine tackles.

West Perth’s Conal Lynch (20 disposals, 11 tackles, six inside 50s, one goal) won the Merv McIntosh Medal after being adjudged best afield, while teammate Tom Boyes laid a game-high 15 tackles.

West Perth’s Nathan Murray kicked the first goal of the game before forward Alex Manuel (equal game-high six marks) replied for the Tigers with a booming finish from 50m.

West Perth’s Tom Medhat (equal game-high six marks) then made the Tigers pay for an errant kick-in, before J. Murphy converted a free kick to pull the Tigers to within two points of the Falcons at quarter-time.

Tom Curren gave the Tigers the lead for the first time in the second term before Brayden Antonio made the Tigers pay for another turnover in defence.

Powerful forward Corey Hitchcock then kicked a pair of brilliant goals from deep in the pocket to give the Tigers a six-point lead at half-time.

Both teams then traded goals in an entertaining start to the second half, with Curren and Manuel both kicking their second majors, before the Falcons added two more to take a 10-point lead at the final change.

Two more goals in the opening 10 minutes of the final term extended the Falcons’ lead to 21 points, before the Tigers kicked four consecutive behinds as they attempted to launch a comeback.

Goals to Reid and England pulled the Tigers to within five points of the Falcons with just over three minutes remaining, however, despite Murphy’s desperate smother at the other end of the ground, West Perth held on for a tense win.

CLAREMONT 2.0 5.0 7.1 9.6 (60)

WEST PERTH 2.2 3.6 7.11 9.12 (66)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 2 T. Curren, A. Manuel, C. Hitchcock, 1 J. Murphy, C. England, J. Reid.

WEST PERTH: 2 B. Antonio, T. Medhat, 1 C. Lynch, N. Murray, D. Yem, K. Todd, J. Burke.

BEST

CLAREMONT: J. Murphy, C. England, T. Ledger, J. Reid.

WEST PERTH: T. Boyes, T. Moulton, B. Antonio, L. Tedesco, C. Lynch.

MERV McINTOSH MEDAL: C. Lynch (WP)