League: Wounded Tigers Overrun by Bulldogs

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 11:47 AM

By Daniel Scamozzi

A brave but wounded Claremont had their two-game winning streak ended by South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval in NAIDOC Round, with the Tigers suffering a 26-point defeat in cold conditions.

Despite winning the first and second terms, the depleted Tigers, who lost defender Bailey Rogers and midfielder Jye Bolton to ankle injuries in the second half, couldn’t overcome the fast-finishing Bulldogs who prevailed 10.13 (73) to 6.11 (47) to win the Jimmy Melbourne Cup.

In a bruising encounter where territory was gold and goals were rare, 158 tackles were laid as both teams battled for ascendancy in and around the contest.

With just 11 goals kicked up until the final change, the Bulldogs then pulled away with four goals to one in the final term, leaving the Tigers in fifth position on the ladder.

Midfielder Kane Mitchell, who recorded a game-high 34 disposals, starred with his repeat efforts and hard running and won the players’ player award, while Jared Hardisty laid a game-high 13 tackles and set the tone in the contest with his unwavering attack on the ball and pressure on the opposition.

Declan Hardisty (19 disposals, six marks, six tackles) and Anton Hamp (team-high 10 marks) starred in defence, with the latter keeping South’s Mason Shaw goalless, while Bolton (32 disposals) was prominent before sustaining his injury approaching time-on in the final term.

The Bulldogs were led by midfielder Marlion Pickett (23 disposals, eight tackles) and Zachary Strom (eight marks, one goal), with ruckman Brock Higgins (52 hit-outs) and Brandon Donaldson (three goals) also performing strongly.

The Tigers lost Haydn Busher (corked quad) from the team that defeated East Fremantle seven days earlier, as the visitors kicked to the northern end of the ground in the opening term.

With the Tigers wearing a guernsey designed by James Egan, and the teams playing with a special NAIDOC football designed by Samantha Mitchell, daughter of Claremont legend Michael Mitchell, an early goal from Tom Lee gave the visitors a great start to the game.

Matt Palfrey then benefited from a great tackle in midfield from Lachlan Martinis and a great pass from Morgan Davies as he kicked the Tigers’ second, with D. Hardisty denying the Bulldogs at the other end of the ground.

A great tackle from Lee on Higgins at half-back resulted in a free kick to the hardworking Tiger, before South’s Ben Saunders kicked truly to pull the Bulldogs to within three points at quarter-time.

Another great tackle, this time from ruckman Eddie Simpson on Pickett, resulted in a free kick to the Tiger early in the second term before Haiden Schloithe gave the Bulldogs the lead for the first time.

Lee then replied with his second goal to give the Tigers a five-point lead at half-time.

A goal to South’s Matt Parker reclaimed the lead for the hosts in the opening minute of the second half, before Tigers captain Ian Richardson caught Pickett holding the ball and replied with his first major.

Rogers was then stretchered from the ground in a cruel blow for the in-form Tiger and team, before a pair of goals from Donaldson gave the Bulldogs a seven-point lead.

Richardson replied with his second before Strom restored the Bulldogs’ seven-point lead at the final change.

Schloithe made the Tigers pay for two missed shots when he kicked his second goal early in the final term, before Jordan Law trimmed the deficit to six points.

However, the last three goals to the Bulldogs, combined with Bolton’s injury and a sore Nick Winmar proved too much for the Tigers to overcome.

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

CLAREMONT 2.1 3.5 5.8 6.11 (47)

SOUTH FREMANTLE 1.4 2.6 6.9 10.13 (73)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 2 T. Lee, I. Richardson, 1 M. Palfrey, J. Law.

SOUTH FREMANTLE: 3 B. Donaldson, 2 H. Schloithe, B. Saunders, M. Parker, 1 Z. Strom.

BEST

CLAREMONT: K. Mitchell, J. Hardisty, D. Hardisty, A. Hamp, J. Bolton.

SOUTH FREMANTLE: H. Schloithe, Z. Strom, D. Main, M. Pickett, B. Saunders.