Select grade below


Monday, August 1, 2022 - 10:54 AM

By John Townsend

Prolific displays by three State midfielders and a winning ruck combination helped Claremont maintain their home ground dominance over Swan Districts and become the first team this season to beat the other members of the top five.

Led by two Sandover medallists in Bailey Rogers and Jye Bolton, and aided by another contender in Ben Edwards, the Tigers held off a spirited Swans combination by nine points on Saturday to move into third spot on the ladder.

It was Claremont’s 10th consecutive home win over their bitter rivals, a nine-year period that also included three matches last decade at the neighbouring Showground while Revo Fitness Stadium was redeveloped.

The trio of WA regulars combined for more than a century of disposals as the most influential players in the 10.12 (72) to 9.9 (63) win.

They were aided by Ollie Eastland, who took advantage of Swans’ makeshift ruck brigade to dominate stoppages in the first half before first-year powerhouse Kieran Gowdie came into his own in the second half.

The ruck duo combined for 55 hit outs, kicked a goal apiece, and gave their followers first use of the ball at the vast majority of stoppages.  

Rogers was the brightest of the three midfield stars with his 37 disposals including a long goal from a powerful pack mark late in the first term, as well as a series of important interceptions as Swans rallied late in the contest.

High marking is a feature of the 25-year-old’s game and he was able to haul in several strong captures to complement his hard running and clean handling. 

Bolton started in the middle of the ground, was well outside the 50m arc when he produced the first score of the game and found the football 38 times as he maintained his love affair with Swans.

The dual Sandover winner averages 36 touches against the Black and Whites during a career that has brought 12 wins from 15 clashes, a match-winning 50m goal after the siren and a career-high 51 disposals in the teams’ first meeting this season.

And the energetic Edwards regularly burst away from opponents to take the ball into attack with many of his 34 possessions.

Claremont have now beaten ladder-leading West Perth twice this season, South Fremantle, East Fremantle and Swans to complete a full hand against the teams sitting in the top five positions at the start of the round.

It appeared that Claremont would have a percentage-boosting win – or add considerable compound interest in the words of the club’s most prominent Tiger-wigged supporter – when Ronin O’Connor’s second quarter major extended the lead to 30 points. 

The Tigers found considerable space in their forward line in the first half to score from half of their forward 50 entries with Jack Buller’s strong aerial work and sound kicking producing two early goals.

But the game changed when emerging midfielder Aidan Clarke ignited a strong Swans fightback in the second half before a group of senior Tigers responded to the danger.

Declan Mountford blanketed prolific Swans wingman Jesse Turner, Callan England got on top of a former fellow West Coast rookie in Tarir Bayok and Jared Hardisty set a high standard for resolve and commitment in the middle as he finally found the continuity required after two seasons marred by injuries.

Playing just his 10th match for the club, Gowdie had a strong presence, particularly late in the game when Swans were coming hard.

The big man took a strong saving mark under considerable pressure deep in defence, was soon involved in a passage of play in the middle where he produced a deft tap to get the ball to the advantage of a team-mate and then found Laurence Evans whose set shot iced the result.


 CLAREMONT 3.5 7.8 9.10 10.12 72

SWAN DISTRICTS 2.1 4.2 6.4 9.9 63

GOALS – CLAREMONT: 2 J Buller; 1 B Rogers, R O’Connor, L Martinis, J Bolton, O Eastland, T Smallwood, L Evans, K Gowdie.

SWAN DISTRICTS: 2 A Clarke, D Jones; 1 J Pina, B Noble, J Cipro, R Kemp, S Bright.

BEST – CLAREMONT: B Rogers, J Bolton, B Edwards, O Eastland, J Hardisty, D Mountford, C England.

SWAN DISTRICTS: A Clarke, J O’Donohue, J Pina, J Cipro, D Jones.