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Tigers Claw Past Sharks

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 9:47 AM
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Claremont’s Reserves recorded consecutive wins after holding off a fast-finishing East Fremantle at Claremont Oval on Saturday and are the only undefeated team after three rounds.

The six-point win, 13.13 (91) to 12.13 (85), was set up after the Tigers won the first three terms and held a 31-point lead at three-quarter time, and despite the Sharks kicking six goals to two in the final term, the hosts’ dangerous forward line and cleaner ball movement saw them prevail.

Charles Le Fanu was the Tigers’ best player and deservedly won the players’ player award for his ferocious attack on the ball and recorded a game-high six inside 50s, while Kaiden Gilbert was the most dangerous forward on the ground with eight marks, including five in the opening term, and an equal game-high three goals.

Bailey Bennett starred with his repeat efforts and also kicked two goals, while acting captain Jacob Sideris and Tom Ledger, who was omitted from the League team, were solid contributors.

Corey Mitchell responded to his League omission by laying a team-high six tackles, while fellow small forward James Egan kicked three goals during the Tigers’ third-term blitz.

Ben Harding recorded a game-high 34 disposals for the Sharks, while Tim Bristow and Jesse Wynne kicked two goals apiece.

The Tigers kicked to the northern end of the ground in the opening term in perfect conditions, and after an indifferent start to the contest, where neither team was able to capitalise on their opportunities going forward, Jake Stergiou broke the deadlock at the 13-minute mark.

Bennett then burst through a pack and finished with aplomb to give the Tigers consecutive goals, before Gilbert kicked truly with his second shot in quick succession from an almost identical position to extend the lead to 20 points.

However, late goals to Bristow and Nick Bonomelli saw the Sharks trim the deficit to seven points at quarter-time.

Claremont coach Steven Armstrong praised the efforts from Gilbert but implored the team to be more composed in front of goal, before Tom Omodei gave the Sharks three consecutive majors and levelled the scores early in the second term.

A great pass from Eddie Simpson saw Gilbert kick his second and respond for the Tigers, before Corey Hitchcock benefited from some fine work from Mitchell and extended the lead.

Three efforts and two tackles in quick succession from Bennett typified the feisty Tiger’s appetite for the contest, before Brett Wilson soccered through the team’s sixth goal and gave the Tigers three consecutive majors for the second time in the first half.

A desperate and inspirational tackle from Le Fanu prevented the Sharks from responding, before captain Frazer Daly kicked truly just before half-time to trim the Tigers’ lead to 11 points.

Wynne then kicked the first of his two goals to pull the Sharks to within five points early in the second half, before the Tigers responded in ominous fashion.

Two goals in as many minutes from Egan, including a high-flying mark, gave the Tigers some breathing space, before Gilbert kicked his third major after another strong mark.

Egan then kicked his third as the Tigers slammed on four goals in 11 minutes and took a commanding 30-point lead, before Matthew Burton pounced on an errant kick to respond for the Sharks.

Bennett then kicked his second goal after doing likewise to the Sharks and gave the Tigers a 31-point lead at the final change.

Armstrong praised the efforts from Le Fanu and the Tigers’ composure, however, goals from Tim Bockman and Zachary Jackson gave the Sharks a quick start to the final term and trimmed the margin to 19 points.

Ben Higgs then kicked a timely goal for the Tigers after a squaring pass from Wilson and a great chase from Nick Yarran that created a turnover, before the Sharks hit back through second majors to Wynne and Bristow.

Simpson then kicked truly to give the Tigers a 19-point lead halfway through the final term, and despite the Sharks kicking the final two goals, the hosts held on for a deserved win.

The Tigers will be aiming for three consecutive wins when they face Subiaco at Leederville Oval on Friday night.

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Colts suffered their first loss of the season after East Fremantle prevailed by 36 points, 15.8 (98) to 9.8 (62).

CLAREMONT 3.6 6.8 11.11 13.13 (91)

EAST FREMANTLE 2.5 4.9 6.10 12.13 (85)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 3 K. Gilbert, J. Egan, 2 B. Bennett, 1 B. Higgs, E. Simpson, B. Wilson, J. Stergiou, C. Hitchcock.

EAST FREMANTLE: 2 T. Bristow, J. Wynne, 1 T. Omodei, J. Bristow, M. Burton, Z. Jackson, J. Quill, N. Bonomelli, T. Bockman, F. Daly.

BEST

CLAREMONT: C. Le Fanu, K. Gilbert, B. Bennett, J. Sideris, T. Ledger.

EAST FREMANTLE: N. Bonomelli, C. Holmes, J. Bristow, B. Harding.

By Dan Scamozzi