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Reserves: Waterman Inspires Tigers

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 11:42 AM
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By Daniel Scamozzi

A five-goals-to-nil opening term was the catalyst for Claremont’s Reserves’ 19-point win against South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval in round 14, but it was the inspirational return of a brilliant midfielder that delighted the Tiger Army.

Alec Waterman, son of dual West Coast Eagles premiership player Chris, and older brother of current Eagle Jake, last played for the Tigers in the 2014 Colts grand final.

He was then drafted by West Coast as a father-son selection before glandular fever and a post-viral fatigue illness cruelled the powerful midfielder’s chances of plying his trade at the highest level.

Waterman, 21, played eight League games for East Perth, however, Saturday’s 12.5 (77) to 8.10 (58) triumph was the Tiger’s first game since round 10, 2015, and also his Reserves debut.

An assistant coach earlier in the season and, more recently, a team runner, Waterman provided the highlight of the game when he snapped the Tigers’ third goal at the midway point of the opening term before being mobbed by his jubilant teammates.

He then kicked the opening goal of the second term and showed promising glimpses on-ball with his power and raking kick.

After bursting out of the blocks, the Tigers added four goals to two in the second term to take a 43-point lead at half-time, and despite the Bulldogs kicking six goals to three in the second half, the top-of-the-ladder Tigers held on to record consecutive wins.

Spearhead Nicholas Allan (seven marks) kicked a game-high six goals and won the players’ player award in just his fifth game, while the composed Jacob Orr impressed in defence.

The dashing Ben Rushforth (one goal) gave the Tigers great run and helped set the tone with an inspirational tackle in the opening term, while the returning Tom Lawrence (six marks) also impressed in defence.

Meanwhile, the hardworking Tom Ledger recorded team-high totals of 28 disposals and eight tackles.

Jake Florenca recorded a game-high 41 disposals for the Bulldogs, however, despite recording two more inside-50s and one more scoring shot, the hosts were left to rue their poor start and suffered their sixth loss of the season.

Consecutive goals to Allan gave the ferocious Tigers a great start to the game before Waterman helped them establish an 18-point lead midway through the opening term.

Rhett Lloyd then benefited from a hardball get and handball from Bailey Bennett to kick the Tigers’ fourth, before Rushforth epitomised the team’s appetite for the contest with his outstanding chase and tackle.

Allan then kicked his third after relentless forward pressure to give the Tigers a 31-point lead over the scoreless Bulldogs at quarter-time, with coach Steve Armstrong lauding the bright start and imploring the team to move the ball quick to the dangerous forwards.

An unmarked Waterman made it six consecutive goals when he kicked truly in the second term after being found by Bennett, before Daniel Cabassi kicked the Bulldogs’ first major.

James Egan, who designed Claremont’s League guernsey as part of NAIDOC Round, replied before Jordon Reid applied a great tackle on former Tiger Steven Edwards and kicked the team’s eight goal.

Rushforth then slammed through the Tigers’ ninth before Caleb Datson kicked the Bulldogs’ second.

The result was a 43-point lead to the Tigers at half-time, before the Bulldogs kicked three goals to none in the third term to close to within 20 points at the final change.

A great attack on the ball and long kick from Orr helped Allan register his fourth goal early in the final term before he quickly added his fifth to give the Tigers an unassailable 32-point lead.

His sixth then helped them hold off the fast-finishing Bulldogs.

The Tigers have a bye in round 15 before hosting East Perth at Claremont Oval in round 16.

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Colts suffered an 82-point loss to South Fremantle, 15.13 (103) to 2.9 (21).

CLAREMONT 5.1 9.3 9.4 12.5 (77)

SOUTH FREMANTLE 0.0 2.2 5.8 8.10 (58)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 6 N. Allan, 2 A. Waterman, 1 B. Rushforth, R. Lloyd, J. Reid, J. Egan.

SOUTH FREMANTLE: 2 J. Warne, C. Datson, 1 D. Cabassi, Z. Sumich, B. Timewell, Z. De San Miguel.

BEST

CLAREMONT: N. Allan, J. Orr, B. Rushforth, T. Lawrence, T. Ledger.

SOUTH FREMANTLE: J. Florenca, Z. De San Miguel, J. Solomon, T. Reed, J. Collard.