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Monday, September 13, 2021 - 9:52 AM


There was a feeling of déjà vu in the mighty Claremont Tigers’ one-point loss to South Fremantle in the qualifying final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

After outplaying the Bulldogs in the first half and establishing a 30-point lead early in the third term, the Tigers looked headed for victory before South Fremantle slammed on four unanswered goals and the game was flipped on its head.

With both teams pushing desperately in a tense final term, co-captain and bullocking midfielder Jared Hardisty (26 disposals, game-high 16 tackles), who led the way with his ferocious appetite for the contest and was Claremont’s best player, was awarded a free kick 30m from goal on a 45-degree angle with the Tigers trailing by two points deep in time-on.

Unfortunately, his shot at goal after the final siren missed to the right and the Tigers were left to rue their third-term lapse as the Bulldogs held on for the narrowest of wins, 9.11 (65) to 9.10 (64).

The feeling of déjà vu in that it was the third consecutive time the Tigers have lost by less than a goal at the venue, kicking more behinds than goals on all three occasions.

However, Claremont is still alive and will host West Perth in the first semifinal at Revo Fitness Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with the winner to face either Subiaco or South Fremantle in the preliminary final.

Alongside Jared Hardisty in the engine room, vice-captain Jye Bolton (game-high 30 disposals, equal game-high six inside 50s) battled manfully, with wingman Ryan Lim (seven tackles) and defender Dec Hardisty also important contributors.

Bailey Rogers and key forward Timm House each kicked two goals, with the latter reported for rough conduct against South Fremantle’s Zachary Dent in the opening term.

Ben Edwards and Lachlan Martinis were inclusions to Claremont’s team as Jared Hardisty elected to kick to the northern end of the ground in the opening term with the aid of a breeze, with co-captain Dec Mountford lining up in his 50th game and the Tigers starting defender Jason Carter in the forward line.

Man-of-the-moment Rogers split the middle from 50m on a tight angle to kick the opening goal before Mountford soon kicked Claremont’s second to establish a 10-point lead, forward Jimmy Miller replying with the Bulldogs’ first goal to trim the lead to five points at quarter-time.

With Claremont coach Ash Prescott urging the Tigers to be “strong at the footy”, a brilliant finish from forward Alex Manuel on his left foot gave the visitors a perfect start to the second term, goals to Cal England, Max Spyvee (10 tackles) and House extending the lead to 28 points.

South Fremantle forward Brandon Donaldson then kicked a soft goal on the stroke of half-time to trim the margin to 24 at the main break, House then establishing Claremont’s game-high 30-point lead in the third term after converting a spearing pass from Jared Hardisty.

Then the Tigers lapsed as the Bulldogs dominated the next 10 minutes of play to slash the lead to just six points, Rogers kicking his second goal before Tom Blechynden pulled South Fremantle to within four points at the final break.

With Prescott urging the Tigers to “maintain the rage”, a goal from Isaac Barton in the final term extended the lead to 11 points, South Fremantle replying through Haiden Schloithe and Donaldson to hit the front for the first time since early in the opening term.

Jared Hardisty was then taken high as he tried to burst his way through traffic, his post-siren shot sailing wide as the Bulldogs booked a second semifinal clash with Subiaco.

CLAREMONT 2.2 6.6 8.6 9.10 (64)

SOUTH FREMANTLE 1.3 2.6 7.8 9.11 (65)


CLAREMONT: 2 B. Rogers, T. House, 1 D. Mountford, C. England, M. Spyvee, A. Manuel, I. Barton.

SOUTH FREMANTLE: 2 B. Donaldson, M. Parker, 1 H. Schloithe, T. Blechynden, C. Ninyette, J. Miller, J. Motlop.


CLAREMONT: J. Hardisty, J. Bolton, R. Lim, D. Hardisty, J. Buller.

SOUTH FREMANTLE: J. Maskos, B. Donaldson, H. Schloithe, N. Suban, J. Miller, N. Strom.