TIGERS OVERPOWER FALCONS

Monday, March 9, 2020 - 3:25 PM by Georgina Gabelich

By Dan Scamozzi

A host of senior players lined up for Claremont as the Tigers overcame a slow start to defeat West Perth by 28 points, 12.8 (80) to 7.10 (52), in a practice match at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday.

The Tigers kicked 11 goals to four after trailing the Falcons by 13 points at quarter-time.

After being beaten in and around the stoppages in the opening term, the introduction of champion midfielder Jye Bolton (one goal) helped spark the Tigers as the hosts kicked five goals to none in an impressive second term.

Fellow midfielder Ryan Lim also played an important part in the win - highlighted by a desperate smother at half-back late in the second term - and won the players’ player award, while robust defender Bailey Rogers spent time in the middle and applied his trademark attack on the contest.

Colts program graduate, Charlie Malone kicked an equal game-high three goals, including two in the Tigers’ second-term blitz, along with fellow forward Alec Waterman (equal game-high three goals), who starred with his straight leading and accurate kicking.

Meanwhile, Callan England (one goal) displayed the benefits of a superb pre-season as he combined stints between the forward line and midfield with aplomb, and set the tone with his attack on a contest in the opening term, which saw West Perth’s Conal Lynch come off second best.

In further positive news, former Fremantle Docker Ryan Nyhuis lined up in defence before switching to the forward line and kicking a goal in the final term, while fellow recruit, Edward McGinty (one goal) lit up the contest when he hauled in a spectacular mark at full-forward in the third term.

The Tigers kicked to the southern end of the ground in the opening term, with joint vice-captain Anton Hamp lining up at full-forward and captain Kane Mitchell and Lim occupying the wings.

However, the Falcons kicked the opening two goals through Kris Shannon and Tyler Keitel on the back of their ascendancy in midfield.

Waterman then split the middle from 50m after a brilliant kick to the hot spot from England, before former Tiger Keegan Knott gave the Falcons a 13-point lead at the first change.

Claremont coach Darren Harris praised England for his efforts but implored the Tigers to kick the ball to advantage, before Bolton entered the contest and had an immediate impact as he set up Malone for the opening goal of the second term.

Waterman then led from full-forward and converted a short pass from Mitchell before England kicked truly from a stoppage, before a spearing pass from the prominent Tom Ledger set up Waterman for his third goal.

A thumping kick to half-forward from Rogers allowed Malone to swoop and dribble through his second major, before Lim’s inspirational smother capped off a brilliant response from the Tigers, which resulted in an 18-point lead at half-time.

West Perth’s Dylan Yem kicked the first of his two goals to start the second half and pull the Falcons to within 12 points, before Bolton made the visitors pay from a 50m penalty.

McGinty, who had missed two earlier shots on goal during a lively spell, then leapt highest and took a screamer before kicking truly, before West Perth’s Tom Medhat trimmed the Tigers’ lead to 19 points at the final change.

Nyhuis and Hamp switched ends as the Tigers began the final term under the instruction to “go at the game”, as speedy midfielder Bailey Bennett burst through a stoppage and kicked the hosts’ ninth goal.

Liam Tedesco replied for the Falcons before Nyhuis converted a pass from Waterman, before Malone kicked his third major and Ty Smallwood gave the Tigers’ a game-high 34-point lead.

Claremont’s next match will be against the West Coast Eagles at Revo Fitness Stadium on March 21.

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Reserves defeated West Perth by 43 points, 11.14 (80) to 4.13 (37), with defenders Tom Baldwin (best player) and Will Stockwell (players’ player award) producing brilliant performances, while skilful forward Cooper Nitschke kicked a game-high four goals.

CLAREMONT 1.1 6.3 8.7 12.8 (80)

WEST PERTH 3.2 3.3 5.6 7.10 (52)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 3 C. Malone, A. Waterman, 1 J. Bolton, R. Nyhuis, C. England, B. Bennett, T. Smallwood, E. McGinty.

BEST

CLAREMONT: R. Lim, C. Malone, A. Waterman, C. England, B. Rogers, J. Bolton.