Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 4:52 PM

By Dan Scamozzi

A youthful Claremont team, including three players that have played a combined total of four League games, produced a spirited performance against a more experienced Peel Thunder in a practice match at David Grays Arena in Mandurah last Saturday.

The result mattered little as Peel prevailed by 27 points, 12.8 (80) to 8.5 (53), as the Tigers showed tremendous effort and intent and often forced the hosts into turnovers as a result of sustained pressure in and around the contest.

The first quarter and the opening stages of the second half were the Tigers’ best periods of the match, before the visitors won the final term in another encouraging sign.

Max Spyvee was a solid contributor and laid an inspirational tackle in front of the interchange during the opening term which earned the Tiger a free kick, and also delivered a lace-out pass that set up a goal for powerful forward Ben Schuhkraft in the final term.

Ruckman Steve Miller competed strongly and impressed with his efforts around the ground, including a strong mark taken in defensive 50, while acting captain and midfielder Jake Anderson found plenty of the ball and won consecutive clearances in the final term.

Ben Elliott was also prolific and delivered a spearing pass to full-forward Jack Buller for a goal in the second half, while Schuhkraft starred with his strong marking and kicked two goals in the final term.

Smooth-moving Joel Western finished off a lightning counterattack by kicking truly in the second term before moving up to the wing in the second half, while Nicholas Allan (two goals) and Buller provided focal points in the forward line and lively forward Edward McGinty showed good signs at ground level.

The Tigers kicked to the southern end of the ground in the opening term in warm conditions and kicked the opening major after sharpshooter Corey Hitchcock snapped truly from the pocket after a strong mark and kick at goal from Schuhkraft.

Repeat efforts from Charlie Malone and Spyvee’s team-lifting tackle were early signs of the Tigers’ appetite for the contest, before Allan kicked truly after some great efforts from McGinty in the forward pocket.

Claremont’s pressure was already forcing Peel into turnovers, while Schuhkraft’s strong marking and presence in the forward line was also troubling the hosts, who took a five-point lead at quarter-time.

Claremont coach Darren Harris praised the Tigers’ pressure, before defender Luke Knight took a goal-saving mark on the last line of defence in the early stages of the second term and the visitors launched a quick counterattack which was finished off by Western.

Three consecutive goals from Peel then saw the hosts extend their lead to 20 points at half-time.

Buller and Allan both kicked truly for the Tigers in the third term before Peel took a 28-point lead at the final change, before Anderson showed his ball-winning nous and Spyvee set up Schuhkraft for his first goal.

A desperate smother from Nicholas Crump forced a throw-in and was another sign of the Tigers’ willingness to compete, before late goals from Schuhkraft and Kade Lines capped off an encouraging performance and highlighted the Tigers’ depth across all grades.

The Tigers will host West Perth at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday in their second practice match.

CLAREMONT 2.3 3.4 5.4 8.5 (53)

PEEL THUNDER 3.2 6.6 9.8 12.8 (80)


CLAREMONT: 2 B. Schuhkraft, N. Allan, 1 J. Buller, J. Western, C. Hitchcock, K. Lines.


CLAREMONT: M. Spyvee, S. Miller, J. Anderson, B. Elliott, B. Schuhkraft, J. Western, J. Buller.