DAVIS SHINES IN DEFEAT

Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 8:49 AM

BY DAN SCAMOZZI 

Claremont Reserves’ strong second half of the season came to a disappointing end in the grand final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Sunday, with the Tigers suffering a 29-point defeat against East Perth.

The Tigers went goalless in the first half and never hit their straps as the Royals prevailed 9.12 (66) to 5.7 (37) in fine conditions.

Anthony Davis responded to his League omission in fine fashion as he repelled the Royals and also drifted forward, with the emerging defender winning best player and the players’ player award for his prominent performance.

Fellow defender Marc Boyatzis also gave the Tigers great service along with midfielder Ben Rushforth, while swingman Jack Buller (two goals) shone in defence before moving forward and kicking Claremont’s first goal early in the second half.

East Perth midfielder Christian Ameduri won the Merv McIntosh Medal after being adjudged best afield.

Davis replaced fellow defender Dylan Smallwood (League) in the only change to the Claremont team that defeated Subiaco in the preliminary final, as midfielder Tom Curren captained the Tigers.

Ferocious tackling was a feature in the early stages of a fierce contest, as ruckman Jeremy Goddard produced a terrific spoil at half-back to deny the Royals, and Buller repelled them in defensive 50.

However, a goal from former Tiger Jack Cooley gave an inaccurate East Perth (1.5) the only goal in the opening term and a nine-point lead at quarter-time.

It was all East Perth in the second term despite the efforts of Davis at both ends of the ground, as the Royals kicked four unanswered goals to increase their lead to 34 points at half-time.

With the Tigers needing to dig deep and find an avenue to goal, the move of Buller to the forward line paid immediate dividends when he kicked Claremont’s first goal in the fifth minute of the third term after receiving a spearing pass inside 50 from Jye Clark.

Ben Elliott then spoiled an errant kick from East Perth to create a goal for Ed McGinty, before robust defender Isaac Wallace produced two team-lifting efforts to deny the Royals.

East Perth’s Ciaran Allsop then kicked his second goal to give the Royals a 28-point lead, before a spearing kick inside 50 from Curren was converted by Steve Miller to pull the Tigers to within 21 points at the final change.

East Perth’s Sebit Kuek kicked his second goal to extend the Royals’ lead to 27 points early in the final term, before Tom Lee delivered a spearing finish from the pocket and midfielder Jamie Paul produced a great smother in defence.

McGinty then set up Buller for his second goal to pull the Tigers to within 17 points, however, there would be no miracle comeback, as the Royals kicked the final two goals to run out convincing winners.

Meanwhile, Claremont suffered a 59-point defeat against Subiaco in the Colts grand final, 15.12 (102) to 6.7 (43), with Lachlan Vanirsen winning the Mel Whinnen Medal for the Lions.

CLAREMONT 0.2 0.4 3.6 5.7 (37)

EAST PERTH 1.5 5.8 6.9 9.12 (66)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 2 J. Buller, 1 T. Lee, E. McGinty, S. Miller.

EAST PERTH: 2 C. Allsop, J. Turner, S. Kuek, 1 T. Hooper, M. King, J. Cooley.

BEST

CLAREMONT: A. Davis, M. Boyatzis, B. Rushforth, J. Buller.

EAST PERTH: C. Ameduri, T. North, J. Hayden, J. Ameduri, J. Cooley.