League: Consecutive Wins For Tigers

Monday, August 20, 2018 - 4:03 PM

By Daniel Scamozzi

An inspirational, come-from-behind eight-point win from Claremont against Peel Thunder in glorious conditions at Claremont Oval in round 20 has catapulted the Tigers into fourth position on the ladder ahead of the final round of the home-and-away season.

Despite trailing by 35 points in time-on of the second term, the Tigers staged a stirring comeback to kick nine of the last 11 goals of the game and prevail 12.8 (80) to 11.6 (72).

The triumph capped off a brilliant day for the club and 100-gamer Keifer Yu, who was chaired from the ground by captain Ian Richardson and Haydn Busher, before the Tigers belted out a rousing rendition of the club song.

It was then announced during post-game presentations that coach Darren Harris has signed a two-year contract extension.

A seven-goals-to-two second half saw the Tigers overcome Peel and record their eighth win of the season, with the hosts recording 80 more disposals, 38 more marks, 16 more inside 50s and three more scoring shots.

But it was the Tigers’ never-give-in attitude, blue-collar work rate and mateship which separated them from Peel.

Speaking of work rate, midfielder Tom Ledger has taken his defensive efforts to a new level since returning from a three-game stint in the Reserves, and was Claremont’s best player and kicked a team-lifting goal in time-on of the third term.

Defender Jack Lewsey (18 disposals, seven marks) starred in just his fourth game and won the players’ player award for his inspirational efforts, while prolific midfielder Jye Bolton (29 disposals, six inside 50s, one goal) also performed strongly.

Full-back Anton Hamp (16 disposals, seven marks) continued his outstanding form, while joint vice-captain Ryan Lim (24 disposals, six tackles) worked tirelessly and drove the Tigers forward.

Tough midfielder Jared Hardisty and hardworking forward Alex Manuel kicked two goals apiece, while returning vice-captain Kane Mitchell (32 disposals) laid a team-high seven tackles.

Peel were best served by small defender Corey Morris and forward Hugh Dixon (three goals), but were overrun by a more determined Tigers outfit after half-time.

Mitchell and Eddie Simpson both came into the team which beat Perth seven days earlier for Matt Palfrey (concussion) and Oliver Eastland (ill) as the Tigers kicked to the southern end of the ground in the opening term with the aid of a breeze.

Busher kicked the opening goal of the game from a tight angle after being found by J. Hardisty, before Peel replied through Mitchell Crowden.

Bolton then restored the Tigers’ six-point lead, before goals from Brayden Lawler and Luke Strnadica gave Peel a three-point lead at quarter-time.

Wayward kicking (2.5) and 13 fewer uncontested marks were both areas that the Tigers needed to rectify, with Harris imploring the team to get more physical and use more voice, but also praising the efforts from Lewsey and Ledger.

Three goals in five minutes from Dixon gave Peel a strong start to the second term and a 21-point lead, before Jack Beeck steadied for the Tigers.

However, Peel hit back through goals to Blair Bell, Strnadica (second) and Lloyd Meek, giving the visitors a game-high 35-point lead, before late goals to J. Hardisty and Simpson saw the Tigers close to within 23 points at half-time and would turn out to be pivotal in the context of the game.

A second goal to J. Hardisty gave the Tigers a perfect start to the second half before the in-form Tiger set up Manuel with a spearing pass and the No. 27 converted to give the team four consecutive goals.

A brilliant smother from Lachlan Martinis in defence epitomised the Tigers’ appetite for the contest, before a dashing Ledger finished brilliantly to send the Tiger Army into a frenzy as the hosts closed to within six points.

A second goal to Lawler extended Peel’s lead to 11 points at the final change, however, the Tigers had wrestled back the momentum and turned for home with a boisterous crowd behind them.

After kicking four behinds in the opening term, forward Tom Lee found his radar at just the right time after repeat efforts from Lim and pulled the Tigers to within five points, before Richardson put the hosts in front with an outstanding finish from 50m.

A booming finish from Manuel (second) extended the lead to eight points before second-gamer Jordan Clark ran into an open goal to kick his first in League ranks and send a heaving venue into raptures.

A late goal to Peel’s Ben Howlett trimmed the lead back to eight points, however, the energetic Tigers wouldn’t be denied, as a steadying mark in defence from Dylan Smallwood denied the visitors and the hosts recorded consecutive wins.

The Tigers will aim for three consecutive wins and to consolidate fourth position when they face Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval in the final round of the home-and-away season.

CLAREMONT 2.5 5.5 8.6 12.8 (80)

PEEL THUNDER 3.2 9.4 10.5 11.6 (72)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 2 J. Hardisty, A. Manuel, 1 T. Lee, I. Richardson, J. Beeck, J. Bolton, T. Ledger, H. Busher, J. Clark, E. Simpson.

PEEL THUNDER: 3 H. Dixon, 2 B. Lawler, L. Strnadica, 1 B. Howlett, L. Meek, M. Crowden, B. Bell.

BEST

CLAREMONT:  T. Ledger, J. Lewsey, J. Bolton, A. Hamp, R. Lim.

PEEL THUNDER: C. Morris, H. Dixon, L. Strnadica, B. Howlett, B. McGowan.