League: Bolton Sinks Swans

Monday, August 27, 2018 - 12:42 PM

Photographer: Gary Day

Article by: Daniel Scamozzi

Brilliant midfielder Jye Bolton has made a habit of dominating the opposition at Steel Blue Oval during his nearly-completed three seasons as a Claremont Tiger.

So it was fitting that the ball was in his hands when the final siren sounded at the sunbathed venue on Saturday afternoon in the final round of the home-and-away season.

The Tigers were trailing by one point when Bolton marked a pass from Alex Manuel (eight marks, game-high five goals) at the eastern end of the ground about 40m from goal on a slight angle during the final stages of an enthralling contest.

Bolton, who works tirelessly and has nerves of steel, then split the middle to give the Tigers a pulsating five-point win, 13.13 (91) to 13.8 (86), sending the team and the travelling Tiger Army into raptures.

The result secured fourth position on the ladder and a home elimination final against East Perth at Claremont Oval on Sunday.

Bolton, who recorded a game-high 33 disposals and won the players’ player award for his hardworking performance, will now play in his first final for the club, along with several of his teammates when the Tigers aim to knock off the Royals for a third time this season.

The Tigers’ ninth win of the season was their third in succession and resulted from a will to never give in.

Despite trailing at every change, the Tigers refused to surrender and ran out the game much stronger than Swans, with Manuel putting the team on his shoulders during a herculean final term.

The hardworking No.27, who possesses brilliant foot skills on both sides of his body and regularly brings his teammates into the game, kicked three of his goals to provide the inspiration the Tigers needed to record the latest in a series of nail-biting wins.

Defender Lachlan Martinis (19 disposals, six marks) is also in terrific form and was another key contributor, while hard-running, joint vice-captain Kane Mitchell (31 disposals, nine tackles), who plays his 100th game next week, continues to get to contest after contest.

17-year-old defender Jordan Clark (19 disposals) continues to shine with his skill, composure and superb ability to read the play, and brilliantly denied Swans with an outstanding smother at the start of the final term, while Tyron Smallwood made a promising debut and kicked a vital goal after the quarter-time siren.

Meanwhile, the hard-leading and strong-marking Tom Lee (eight marks, two goals) provided a focal point in the forward line, while Oliver Eastland returned from illness in one of two changes to the team that defeated Peel Thunder in round 20.

Swans were best served by strong-marking forward Brayden Noble (10 marks, four goals), but were overrun by a determined Tigers outfit and suffered their third consecutive loss and 12th for the season.

The Tigers kicked to the western end of the ground in the opening term but found themselves trailing by 19 points just before time-on after Swans kicked the first three goals on the back of dominating contested disposal and inside 50s.

A strong mark and accurate finish from debutant T. Smallwood pulled the Tigers to within 12 points at quarter-time, despite 15 fewer contested disposals and 11 fewer inside 50s, with coach Darren Harris imploring the team to lift and run harder.

A 50m penalty allowed Swans veteran Tony Notte to extend the hosts’ lead to 18 points early in the second term, before Clark took a great mark in defence.

Lee then kicked truly following repeat efforts from Clark, before Noble, who was already proving a handful for the Tigers, kicked his third and fourth goals.

Tigers captain Ian Richardson replied after making the most of a spearing pass from joint vice-captain Ryan Lim, before Swans hit back through goals to Notte (second) and David Ellard.

Now trailing by a game-high 29 points, vital late goals from Manuel and Haydn Busher pulled the Tigers to within 16 at half-time, in a situation that had a familiar feel to the encounter with Peel seven days earlier.

A strong mark and second goal to Lee resulted from a clearance from midfielder Jared Hardisty and gave the Tigers a perfect start to the second half, before a crumbing Tom Ledger gave the team four consecutive goals and slashed Swans’ lead to just five points.

Albert Dean replied for the hosts, before a holding-the-ball free kick and brilliant finish from Keifer Yu pulled the Tigers to within three points.

Manuel then converted a spearing pass from Lee and gave the Tigers the lead, before Tobe Watson edged Swans in front by six points at the final change.

A composed address from Harris reiterated that a home final was on the line, as Clark’s brilliant smother denied Swans in the early stages of the final term.

What came next was quite breathtaking, as Manuel kicked consecutive goals to give the Tigers a five-point lead, before 17-year-old Swans debutant Mitchell Bain ran from half-back to full-forward to kick one of the goals of the season.

Enter Manuel.

A fifth goal, this time a brilliant left-footed snap while running towards the boundary line, reclaimed the lead for the Tigers in what was turning into an enthralling contest.

Goals to Notte and Matt Riggio then reclaimed the lead for Swans, before Kaiden Gilbert and Richardson both had the chance to put the Tigers back in front but couldn’t convert.

It was then up to Bolton, who brilliantly iced the game and broke Swans’ hearts.

CLAREMONT 1.2 5.5 9.7 13.13 (91)

SWAN DISTRICTS 3.2 8.3 10.7 13.8 (86)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 5 A. Manuel, 2 T. Lee, 1 K. Yu, I. Richardson, J. Bolton, T. Ledger, H. Busher, T. Smallwood.

SWAN DISTRICTS: 4 B. Noble, 3 T. Notte, 1 D. Ellard, T. Watson, M. Riggio, J. Turner, A. Dean, M. Bain.

BEST

CLAREMONT: A. Manuel, L. Martinis, J. Bolton, K. Mitchell, J. Clark.

SWAN DISTRICTS: B. Noble, A. Howard, C. Gault, M. Riggio.

Reserves: Tigers Pipped By Swans

Monday, August 27, 2018 - 12:41 PM

By Daniel Scamozzi

Claremont’s Reserves suffered a disappointing six-point defeat against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval in round 21, dropping the Tigers to third position on the ladder after the completion of the home-and-away season.

Despite a dominant but inaccurate (3.6) opening term which resulted in an 18-point lead at quarter-time, a drop-off in work rate and blue-collar effort from the Tigers resulted in a 14.7 (91) to 12.13 (85) defeat in glorious conditions.

Claremont now face East Perth in the qualifying final at Claremont Oval on Sunday.

Midfielder Rylie Morgan continued his stellar form and recorded team-high totals of 28 disposals, 10 marks and nine tackles to finish as Claremont’s best player, while Jordan Law responded to his League omission by laying eight tackles and kicking two goals in a tireless and hardworking performance.

Ruckman Jeremy Goddard (17 disposals, 38 hit-outs) continued his good form, while defender and acting captain Jesse Laurie (six marks) returned to the team and marshalled the Tigers’ defence.

Morgan Davies (21 disposals, five inside 50s) returned from a back injury for his first game at any level since round 16 and was one of four Tigers to kick two goals, while defender Lewis Davis thwarted several of Swans’ attacks with his outstanding spoiling and deservedly won the players’ player award.

And Eddie Simpson (nine marks, two goals) responded to his League omission by working hard around the ground and taking several strong marks.

The Tigers kicked to the eastern end of the sunbathed ground in the opening term and got off to a great start thanks to goals from Law and Davies, with the visitors dominating territory and locking the ball in their front half.

A courageous spoil from the busy Declan McNamara was an early highlight of the contest, before forward Nicholas Allan hauled in a great mark.

A rare inside 50 for Swans resulted in the first of Steven Wityk’s four goals, before the returning Matt Palfrey made the most of an outstanding kick-to-advantage from defender Jacob Orr and gave the Tigers an 18-point lead at the first change.

12 more contested disposals, 14 more handball receives, five more tackles, eight more inside 50s and eight more scoring shots reflected the Tigers’ dominance, however, their wasteful return on the scoreboard had let Swans off the hook.

Coach Steven Armstrong praised the Tigers’ “really good quarter” but implored the team to be more composed with the ball and take its chances, before a goal to Simpson in the opening minute of the second term extended the lead to 24 points.

Taryce Stewart replied for Swans, before Nic Bucknall, playing further up the ground, kicked truly after repeat efforts from Simpson on the wing and a pass from Law to kick the Tigers’ fifth major and restore their 24-point lead.

A smother on the wing from McNamara reiterated the busy Tiger’s appetite for the contest, before Allan made the most of a great pass from Laurie to give the Tigers a game-high 29-point lead.

However, three goals in four minutes from Swans, including two more to Stewart, cut the Tigers’ lead to 10 points before Palfrey kicked his second major to extend it to 16 at half-time.

Swans’ Josh Cipro cut it back to 10 early in the second half, before a dashing run, two bounces and a cool finish from Davies gave the smooth Tiger his second major.

Goals to Adam Faulkner and Wityk (second) left Swans trailing by just one point at the 16-minute mark of the third term, before the speedy Bailey Bennett kicked truly for the Tigers.

However, second goals to Faulkner and Cipro and a third to Wityk gave Swans the lead for the first time and an eight-point lead at the final change, with a furious Armstrong demanding an improvement from the Tigers in terms of work ethic and blue-collar effort in the final term.

A second goal to Law gave the Tigers a perfect start to the final term and pulled them to within one point, before Alphonse Charlie replied for Swans.

Josh Bennett then kicked truly for the Tigers and was mobbed by his jubilant teammates, before consecutive goals to Swans gave the hosts a 14-point lead.

Simpson then kicked his second goal but it wasn’t enough for the Tigers, who now turn their attention to the Royals.

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Colts suffered a 31-point defeat against Swan Districts, 10.8 (68) to 5.7 (37), a result which sees the Tigers finish in sixth position on the ladder after the completion of the home-and-away season.

CLAREMONT 3.6 7.7 9.10 12.13 (85)

SWAN DISTRICTS 1.0 5.3 11.6 14.7 (91)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 2 M. Davies, M. Palfrey, J. Law, E. Simpson, 1 B. Bennett, J. Bennett, N. Bucknall, N. Allan.

SWAN DISTRICTS: 4 S. Wityk, 3 T. Stewart, 2 A. Faulkner, J. Cipro, 1 J. Slater, W. Wilson, A. Charlie.

BEST

CLAREMONT: R. Morgan, J. Law, J. Goddard, J. Laurie, M. Davies.

SWAN DISTRICTS: S. Wityk, T. Whittle, A. Faulkner, J. Cipro.

Round 21 Preview Swan Districts vs. Claremont

Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 9:37 AM

By Daniel Scamozzi

Claremont face Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday afternoon in the final round of the home-and-away season, where a win will secure the Tigers fourth position on the ladder and a home elimination final.

The Tigers will be aiming for their third consecutive win and ninth of the season, and enter the clash full of confidence after their inspirational triumph against Peel Thunder in round 20.

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Reserves will be aiming for consecutive wins and to secure a top-two position, while Claremont’s Colts will aim to finish their season on a high and record their third consecutive win.

The club encourages the Tiger Army to attend the games and support the mighty Tigers.

 

WHERE AND WHEN:

Steel Blue Oval, Saturday, August 25, 2.15pm.

Reserves: 11.30am.

Colts: 9.00am.

RADIO:

Tune in to 107.3 HFM for LIVE coverage. 

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Played: 256.

Swan Districts: 97.

Claremont: 157.

Draws: 2.

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.

Reserves: Tigers Roar Past Thunder

Monday, August 20, 2018 - 3:59 PM

By Daniel Scamozzi

Claremont’s Reserves returned to the winners’ list after defeating Peel Thunder by 40 points in glorious conditions at Claremont Oval in round 20.

The 19.12 (126) to 13.8 (86) triumph – the Tigers’ highest score of the season – was set up by a 12-goals-to-five first half which resulted in a commanding 46-point lead at half-time.

And what a brilliant first half it was.

Midfield dominance, great ball movement, immaculate finishing and eight goal kickers was the result of the Tigers’ determined mindset and ruthless attack on the contest.

The Tigers were down two rotations for the second half, with acting captain and gun midfielder Jacob Sideris (groin) and the returning Ryan Murphy (two goals), who played his first game at any level since round nine, taking no further part in the game.

Overall, the Tigers recorded 38 more disposals, 23 more inside 50s and 10 more scoring shots on the way to their 12th win of the season.

Midfielder Rylie Morgan won the players’ player award after recording a game-high 32 disposals, a team-high eight tackles and equal team-high eight inside 50s as he starred in the middle and continuously drove the Tigers forward with his outstanding work in clearances, while Alec Waterman (26 disposals, seven inside 50s, one goal) was another strong performer and excelled with his penetrating kicking.

Nic Bucknall kicked a game-high four goals and was dangerous across the half-forward line, while Lewis Davis, who normally plies his trade in defence, kicked three goals – the first three he’s kicked at Reserves level.

And ruckman Jeremy Goddard (46 hit-outs) put on a clinic, regularly giving the midfield first use with his brilliant tap-work.

The tough-as-nails Isaac Wallace, Rhett Lloyd and Jack Blaauw all came into the team as the Tigers kicked to the southern end of the ground in the opening term with the aid of a breeze, and they couldn’t have started the contest any better after Murphy kicked the first goal of the game in the opening minute.

Peel replied through Jacob Perry, before a great turn allowed the speedy Bucknall to kick the Tigers’ second goal after a clearance from Morgan.

Cooper Nitschke then dribbled through the Tigers’ third after a clearance from Waterman, before Peel replied through Robert Schindler-Taylor.

A great tackle from Lloyd earned the Tiger a free kick before Murphy kicked his second goal after a perfectly-weighted pass from the prolific Waterman.

Peel replied through Ben Roberts, before Nitschke kicked his second goal and Davis split the middle from outside 50m after a spearing pass from Blaauw.

The speedy Tyron Smallwood then became the Tigers’ fifth goal kicker after making the most of another clearance from the busy Morgan, giving the hosts a 27-point lead at quarter-time.

Seven more hit-outs, eight more clearances, 24 more contested disposals and nine more inside 50s reflected the Tigers’ dominance, with returning coach Steven Armstrong praising the team for the great start to the contest.

A brilliant hit-out from Goddard got the second term underway before Nicholas Allan gave the Tigers four consecutive goals and a 34-point lead after some great work from Smallwood.

Great pressure created a turnover and allowed the dashing Jake Stergiou to split the middle and extend the lead to 40 points, before Peel’s Oliver Walton was reported for rough conduct on Declan McNamara.

Michael Randall then kicked Peel’s fourth goal and ended a run of five consecutive majors from the Tigers, before a groggy Shaquille Morton left the field but would soon return.

Lightning transition from defence allowed Bucknall to kick his second goal and reply for the Tigers, before Kaine Ah-Chee kicked the first of his three majors for Peel.

Waterman then made Peel pay for a turnover in defence with a booming finish from outside 50m which split the middle, before Allan kicked his second goal after great passes from Brett Wilson and Smallwood.

The five-goals-to-two term extended the Tigers’ lead to 46 points at half-time, before Peel kicked the first three goals of the second half either side of a great smother from Wilson in defence.

A third goal to Bucknall allowed the Tigers to steady, before Peel hit back through Lachlan Cullen.

A great pass from Lloyd then allowed Davis to kick his second goal and gave the Tigers a 35-point lead at the final change, with Armstrong imploring the team to give blue-collar effort in the final term.

A great snap gave Davis his third goal and the Tigers a great start to the final term, before Ah-Chee replied for Peel with consecutive majors.

Smallwood then kicked his second and third goals either side of a second to Peel’s Schindler-Taylor, before Jacob Orr denied the visitors on the last line of defence.

James Wiltshire then kicked Peel’s 13th major, before Morton pulled down a screamer at half-back.

Wilson, playing a solid game in the unfamiliar role of defender, then got forward to kick the Tigers’ 18th goal before Bucknall kicked his fourth major after the final siren and with the theme song playing in the background to cap off a great win for the hosts.

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

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Colts recorded consecutive wins after defeating Peel Thunder by 20 points, 9.7 (61) to 6.5 (41).

CLAREMONT 7.3 12.6 14.9 19.12 (126)

PEEL THUNDER 3.0 5.2 9.4 13.8 (86)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 4 N. Bucknall, 3 T. Smallwood, L. Davis, 2 R. Murphy, N. Allan, C. Nitschke, 1 A. Waterman, B. Wilson, J. Stergiou.

PEEL THUNDER: 3 K. Ah-Chee, 2 R. Schindler-Taylor, 1 L. Cullen, J. Dowding, M. Randall, M. Humble, B. Roberts, O. Walton, J. Perry, J. Wiltshire.

BEST

CLAREMONT: R. Morgan, A. Waterman, N. Bucknall, J. Goddard, L. Davis, N. Winmar.

PEEL THUNDER: O. Walton, M. Randall, J. Kirby, K. Ah-Chee, A. Cohen.

Round 20 Preview Claremont vs. Peel Thunder

Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 3:36 PM

By Daniel Scamozzi

Claremont host Peel Thunder in a vital clash at Claremont Oval on Saturday afternoon, with the Tigers aiming for consecutive wins and to further consolidate their position in the top five.

Heading into the fifth-placed Tigers’ final home game and the penultimate round of the home-and-away season, both teams enter the contest with 7-9 records, though the hosts’ superior percentage has them two positions above the seventh-placed Thunder on the ladder.

The versatile, robust and dashing Keifer Yu will play his 100th game as the Tigers aim for their eighth win of the season.

The club encourages the Tiger Army to attend the game and support the mighty Tigers.

 

WHERE AND WHEN:

Claremont Oval, Saturday, August 18, 2.15pm.

Reserves: 11.30am.

Colts: 9.00am.

RADIO:

Tune in to SportFM (91.3) from 1.45pm for LIVE coverage. 

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Played: 57.

Claremont: 39.

Peel Thunder: 18.

Yu Notches His Century

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 2:26 PM

By Ken Casellas

The gentle nature and Keifer Yu’s ever-smiling countenance belies the fierce commitment he has shown on the field over the past ten years at Claremont.

And this year he has reinvented himself, switching from the role of a fearless and uncompromising defender to a robust and aggressive forward. His vigour, his courage and unyielding attitude has resulted in being knocked out six times, broken bones and a variety of injuries to most parts of his muscular body.

Now 27, Yu will chalk up a memorable milestone when he leads the Tigers on to the field for the clash against reigning premiers Peel Thunder at Claremont Oval on Saturday. He will be the 116th player to notch a hundred league matches for Claremont --- and only the second indigenous player in the club’s 93-year history to achieve this honour and the first from the Kimberley region.

Of the many outstanding Aboriginal footballers to have represented the Tigers, only dual league premiership player Kevin Mitchell (113 games) has reached the century. Many other indigenous men from Claremont went on to forge marvellous reputations in VFL and AFL ranks and they include Jim and Phil Krakouer, Derek Kickett, Dale Kickett, Michael Mitchell, Chris Lewis, Scott Chisholm and Gavin Mitchell.

Yu, charming and unassuming off the field, has never shirked a physical battle on the field and his inspirational courage has made him a much-admired and loved character at Claremont.

He holds a unique record, being one of only two men to have played in six premiership sides for the Tigers, the other being Gerrick Weedon, another indigenous star from the Kimberley. Yu enjoyed premiership success with the Claremont colts side in 2009, the reserves in 2010-11-12 and 2016 and the senior side in the 2012 Foxtel Cup triumph over Werribee.

Yu’s ferocious and fearless attack on the ball has left his body battered, bruised and broken, but he has never complained. His courage was rewarded in just his second league appearance when he won the Ralph Honner trophy as the player who most clearly embodied the Anzac spirit when the Tigers defeated East Fremantle by 72 points in April 2010.

Yu said that he had only one more box to tick after having played in six premiership sides --- and that was to help the Tigers win the league grand final this year, a task he believes is well within the side’s capabilities.

Sadly, for his many admirers, Yu will retire as a Claremont player at the end of this season. His partner Sophie is pregnant and is expecting the couple’s first child on January 30.

“I will be moving back to Broome at the end of the year and I’ll probably play up there with one of the clubs,” he said.

Originating from Broome and educated at Hale School, Yu was a member of Claremont’s development squads from the age of 14 and played in 17 colts matches in 2009 and, wearing the No. 20 jumper, he was a member of the side which beat Peel Thunder in a memorable grand final under lights at Subiaco Oval.

Wearing the No. 55 jumper, Yu made only five league appearances in 2010 when he admits he was a bit chubby. However, he became determined to succeed and his attitude to training improved dramatically. But he fractured his left wrist in 2010 --- and kept on playing --- before he tore the ligaments off the bone in his right elbow in the reserves grand final when, typically, going back with the flight of the ball, he landed awkwardly.

“I had an operation on my elbow and then surgery on my damaged wrist which forced me to miss the first half of the 2011 season,” he said. Yu returned to action in 12 appearances with the reserves in the second half of the season.

“I was still a bit unfit in 2012 when Marc Webb was coach and I played in two league and 17 reserves matches,” he explained. Fourteen league matches and six with the reserves in 2013 was followed by only five league appearances under first-year coach Michael Broadbridge in 2014.

“Those five games came towards the end of the season after a meeting with Broadbridge and Jake Murphy,” Yu said. “It was a straightforward conversation and they told me what I needed to do. It was to get fitter, and I took their advice and was able to play 21 league games in 2015 and 14 the following year.”

Yu has been a league regular in 2017 and 2018 under coach Darren Harris. He has missed only one game this year, and that was the week after he was knocked out and concussed in the round five match against South Fremantle in Albany in late April.

A fortnight before he was knocked out when he was tackled heavily and his head crashed into Nick Suban’s knee, Yu was a hero in the round-three match against East Fremantle at Claremont Oval when he kicked the winning goal as the final siren was sounding.

Jordan Law had taken a mark at centre-half-forward, about 40m out from goal and defender Yu dashed alongside his teammate and called for a handpass. Law obliged and Yu’s soaring kick was sailing goalwards as the siren blared.

“Darcy Coffey was calling me from the bench to get the ball because Jordy had missed one in the second quarter from about the same distance,” Yu said. “I’ve never done that before, calling for the handball in a similar situation. It was a pretty amazing feeling.”

Yu has is recognised as Claremont’s longest kicker, and this exciting goal quite likely prompted Harris and his coaching assistants to switch Yu from defence and into attack. “I think that the coaches wanted someone with a penetrating kick to head up forward,” Yu said.

Regarding his ferocious attack on the ball and his fierce tackling, Yu said: “I got that from my cousin Kimba O’Connell, who taught me how to tackle as a young fella. He’s a big boy and I’ve always enjoyed tackling.”

Yu, a qualified carpenter who holds a building diploma, has in recent years enjoyed mentoring youngsters from the Kimberley at Claremont. His message is: “Give it a crack and stick at it. I never thought I’d play a single league game, let alone one hundred. I hope youngsters Jimmy Egan and Shaq Morton go on and play a hundred games as well.”

Yu is looking forward to his parents Peter and Sarah and other members of the family coming down from Broome to watch Saturday’s match.

His biggest regret at ending his wonderful career at Claremont is in his words: “I’ll miss being around the club where everyone is so friendly and all have welcomed me with open arms.”

League: Tigers Win Pyke Cup

Monday, August 13, 2018 - 10:56 AM

By Daniel Scamozzi

Claremont produced a ruthless and dominant performance to smash Perth by 46 points at Lathlain Park in round 19 and win the Pyke Cup, moving the Tigers into fifth position on the ladder with just two rounds of the home-and-away season remaining.

The 19.11 (125) to 11.13 (79) triumph was built on the back of fierce pressure, ferocious tackling, hard running, immaculate kicking and ball movement, and featured every Tiger playing their role as the team kicked its highest score of the season and recorded its seventh win.

Tenacious midfielder Jared Hardisty (six tackles, two goals) recorded a team-high 29 disposals and deservedly won the players’ player award for his outstanding performance that included hard running and precise kicking, while fellow midfielder Tom Curren (26 disposals, one goal) was also brilliant and regularly sent the team forward.

Ruckman Oliver Eastland (15 disposals, 35 hit-outs) had an enthralling duel with Perth’s Christian Eyres and continues to impress with his tap-work and work around the ground, while the dashing Jack Beeck (21 disposals) took a team-high eight marks, sent the Tigers inside 50m eight times and kicked two booming goals from tight angles.

Meanwhile, the unflappable Anton Hamp (seven marks) blanketed Perth’s Spencer White and was again outstanding in defence, while fellow defender Jordan Clark (16 disposals, six marks, four tackles) made an impressive debut.

Tom Lee kicked a team-high three goals and was one of 11 goal kickers, while Haydn Busher and Bailey Rogers returned from injury and replaced Jesse Laurie (omitted) and Addison Dew (omitted).

Joint vice-captain Kane Mitchell (calf) was unavailable for selection.

Former Tiger Corey Yeo recorded 38 disposals for the Demons, while Michael Bennell kicked three goals, however, the hosts were no match for the rampaging Tigers on a glorious afternoon for football.

Captain Ian Richardson won the toss of the coin and elected to kick to the southern end of the ground in the opening term with the aid of a slight breeze, and reached another milestone when he kicked the first goal of the game – the 400th of his outstanding career.

Keifer Yu then intercepted a pass from the Demons before sending the ball straight through the middle, before Jye Bolton kicked a brilliant goal from the pocket to give the Tigers three consecutive majors and a 19-point lead in the 12th minute.

A great tackle from the hardworking Alex Manuel on White earned the Tiger a free kick and epitomised the team’s appetite for the contest, before two quick goals from Bennell trimmed the Tigers’ lead to six points at quarter-time.

Nine more inside 50s than the Demons should have resulted in a bigger advantage on the scoreboard, however, coach Darren Harris lauded the Tigers’ start to the game and will to hunt the opposition.

A third goal to Bennell levelled scores in the opening minute of the second term, however, what came next was some of the Tigers’ most stunning football of the season.

A perfectly-weighted pass from Richardson to Lee resulted in the Tigers’ fourth goal before Richardson quickly added his second major, with a great mark and pass from Hamp at half-back instigating the play.

Goals to Tom Ledger, J. Hardisty and Kaiden Gilbert gave the Tigers five consecutive majors and a 30-point lead, before Yeo briefly halted the onslaught with the Demons’ fourth major.

Enter Beeck.

A booming finish from the boundary line at the northern end of the ground will earn the fan favourite a goal-of-the-year nomination and was the team’s ninth major, before Lachlan Martinis made the Demons pay from a 50m penalty.

Lee (second) then set sail from well outside 50m and kicked the Tigers’ 11th goal of the half to give the team a commanding 41-point lead at half-time on the back of a sizzling eight-goals-to-two term.

The barnstorming half also featured nine goal kickers for the Tigers as the team shared the ball among the players and sliced through the Demons with its sweeping forays forward.

A second goal to J. Hardisty in the opening 30 seconds of the second half proved that the Tigers were in no mood to rest on their laurels, before majors to Gilbert (second) and Curren extended the lead to 58 points.

Outstanding pressure from the Tigers was forcing the helpless Demons into constant turnovers, before three consecutive goals from the hosts briefly halted the visitors’ momentum.

Enter Beeck.

Another booming finish from the boundary line, this time at the southern end of the ground, was the Tigers’ 15th major, before Lee soon kicked his third to extend the lead to 54 points.

Richardson then took a screamer before the Tigers turned for home with a 53-point advantage.

Another booming goal, this time from Bolton (second), gave the Tigers a game-high 59-point lead in the second minute of the final term, before Clark showed what he’s capable of after taking a great mark in defence.

Three quick goals from the Demons added some respectability to the scoreboard for the hosts, before a brilliant smother from Declan Hardisty in midfield resulted in Manuel kicking the Tigers’ 18th major.

The fact that his teammates went to congratulate D. Hardisty for his inspirational play further emphasised the Tigers’ mateship and commitment for one another.

A great spoil from Eastland at half-back soon after was another example of the Tigers’ work ethic, before Manuel kicked his second goal.

A late goal from the previously unsighted White provided the Demons with a skerrick of consolation, though the day well and truly belonged to the brilliant Tigers.

The Tigers will aim for consecutive wins and to further consolidate their position in the top five when they host Peel Thunder at Claremont Oval in round 20.

CLAREMONT 3.4 11.6 16.9 19.11 (125)

PERTH 2.4 4.7 7.10 11.13 (79)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 3 T. Lee, 2 I. Richardson, J. Beeck, J. Bolton, J. Hardisty, A. Manuel, K. Gilbert, 1 K. Yu, T. Curren, T. Ledger, L. Martinis.

PERTH: 3 M. Bennell, 2 B. Colledge, B. Johnson, 1 C. Yeo, S. White, M. Jones, S. Stack.

BEST

CLAREMONT: J. Hardisty, T. Curren, O. Eastland, J. Beeck, A. Hamp.

PERTH: B. Colledge, C. Giblett, M. Sinclair, C. Yeo, B. Johnson.

Reserves: Tigers No Match For Demons

Monday, August 13, 2018 - 10:18 AM

By Daniel Scamozzi

Claremont’s Reserves suffered a disappointing 54-point defeat against Perth at Lathlain Park in round 19, with the lacklustre and error-riddled performance dropping the Tigers to second position on the ladder.

Despite trailing by just five points at three-quarter-time, the Tigers were held goalless in the final term as the Demons slammed on eight unanswered goals to prevail 17.19 (121) to 9.13 (67).

Robust defender Jacob Orr (15 disposals, five marks), who starred for the Tigers with his ferocious attack on the ball and composure, deservedly won the players’ player award, with fellow defenders Addison Dew and Shaquille Morton also prominent.

Acting captain Jacob Sideris (six tackles, one goal) recorded a team-high 27 disposals and continued his strong form, while Rylie Morgan layed a game-high nine tackles and the lively Cooper Nitschke kicked a team-high three goals and set up several others.

However, turnovers proved costly for the Tigers, with the Demons recording 19 more inside 50s and 14 more scoring shots as the ball spent large periods of the game locked in their forward half of the ground.

Lennon Marlin kicked seven goals for the Demons as the hosts recorded their eighth win of the season.

Kepler Bradley and League joint vice-captain Kane Mitchell coached the Tigers in the absence of Steven Armstrong (ill), while Josh Bennett had his game ended by a shoulder injury in the opening term.

Jesse Laurie, Alec Waterman, Cameron Quenby and Dew all came into the team that defeated Subiaco in round 17, as the Tigers kicked to the southern end of the ground in the opening term.

Two goals from Sam Garstone gave the Demons a 12-point lead, before a great hit-out from Eddie Simpson allowed Morgan to send the Tigers forward, where Nitschke brilliantly gathered the ball before turning sharply and delivering a handball to Nicholas Allan who kicked the visitors’ first goal of the game.

Tyron Smallwood soon made it consecutive goals for the Tigers, with Nitschke producing another sharp turn and delivering a great pass to the impressive third-gamer.

The Demons hit back with the next two goals to take a 13-point lead, before Nitschke snapped truly from the pocket to pull the Tigers to within seven points at quarter-time.

Bradley implored the Tigers to be more composed with the ball and tighten up defensively, before Caelen Bennell kicked his second goal in the opening minute of the second term to restore the Demons’ 13-point lead.

A squaring pass from Allan allowed Simpson to reply for the Tigers, before Sideris laid his second smother of the game.

Marlin then kicked his first goal to give the Demons a 15-point lead, with the ball spending the majority of the rest of the term in the hosts’ forward half as the Tigers were unable to clear it from defence.

The result was an 18-point lead to the Demons at half-time and could have been a lot more if not for their inaccuracy (6.13).

The busy Sideris kicked the opening goal of the second half to pull the Tigers to within 12 points, before Marlin replied for the Demons with his second major.

Goals to Waterman and Nitschke (second) pulled the Tigers to within six points, before Marlin kicked his third major.

Declan McNamara then made the Demons pay for some sloppy play in defence, before Nitschke split the middle to send the Tigers into a frenzy.

However, Marlin would have the final say of the third term, kicking his fourth goal to give the Demons a five-point lead at the final change.

It was all one-way traffic after that, with Marlin adding three more goals in the final term as the hosts ran riot.

The Tigers will aim to return to winning ways when they host Peel Thunder at Claremont Oval in round 20.

Meanwhile, Claremont’s Colts recorded a thrilling seven-point win against Perth, 8.8 (56) to 7.7 (49).

CLAREMONT 3.2 4.7 9.11 9.13 (67)

PERTH 4.3 6.13 9.16 17.19 (121)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 3 C. Nitschke, 1 J. Sideris, A. Waterman, E. Simpson, T. Smallwood, D. McNamara, N. Allan.

PERTH: 7 L. Marlin, 3 C. Bennell, 2 S. Garstone, 1 S. Perkusich, A. Mercer, B. Piggott, C. Marshall, T. Simpson.

BEST

CLAREMONT: J. Orr, A. Dew, S. Morton.

PERTH: L. Marlin, T. Etto, C. Bennell, K. Chester, B. Edmonds.

Round 19 Preview Perth vs. Claremont

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - 12:22 PM

By Daniel Scamozzi.

Claremont face Perth at Lathlain Park in a must-win clash on Saturday afternoon, with the Tigers needing to win to stay in touch with the top five.

Just one win separates the fourth-placed Demons and seventh-placed Tigers on the ladder with just three rounds remaining in the home-and-away season.

Both teams had a bye in round 18 and will be playing for the annual Pyke Cup, named in honour of Frank, who played in Perth’s 1966 premiership, and Don, who played in premierships with Claremont in 1987 and 1996.

Matt Palfrey will be available for selection after his report for rough conduct on Subiaco’s Jordan Lockyer in round 17 was dismissed, while Haydn Busher (quad), Morgan Davies (back) and Bailey Rogers (ankle) will all aim to prove their fitness.

Meanwhile, captain Ian Richardson is one straight kick away from reaching 400 senior goals.

The club encourages the Tiger Army to attend the game and support the mighty Tigers.

WHERE AND WHEN:

Lathlain Park, Saturday, August 11, 2.15pm.

Reserves: 11.30am.

Colts: 9.00am.

RADIO:

Tune in to 107.3 HFM for LIVE coverage.

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Played: 260.

Claremont: 140.

Perth: 119.

Draws: 1.