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Love Fills The Breach

Thursday, March 14, 2024 - 9:49 AM

By Ken Casellas

Burly West Love, a newcomer with Claremont this season, gave a sample of his ability in the reserves scratch match against Perth at Lathlain Park on Saturday when he began at full-forward and then showed his class as a ruckman after Kieran Gowdie was forced out of action in the first quarter with a damaged ankle.

Gowdie was prominent early with several telling hit-outs, while Love took a strong contested mark before booting a point.

Unfortunately, Gowdie was injured, and Love was called on to share the ruck duties with 18-year-old Max Rohr, a member of Claremont’s colts premiership side last year.

The 21-year-old Love, recruited from the University amateurs, and the slender Rohr impressed with their ruck work and played important roles in Claremont’s hard-fought five-point victory.

Love took seven marks, four of which were contested, and he gained twelve hit-outs.

Claremont’s three best players were Kai Dehavilland, Bailey Banfield and Felix Rogers.

Dehavilland was an outstanding centreman who finished with four marks, 12 kicks and eight effective handpasses, while Banfield, who started on a centre wing, proved his class with a spirited display on the ball.

Banfield had 14 disposals and he was particularly effective at the stoppages, frequently gaining the clearance. Max Mumme also came under notice with his good work in the midfield.

It took the Tigers 13 minutes to score their first goal, with Ed Greenaway clearing the ball out of defence and on to Bailey van der Struyf, whose pass was marked by Luke Brown, whose task of scoring a major was made easier after being awarded a 50m penalty.

Tall and slender, Brown did well to finish with four goals, while Felix Rogers (two goals) enlivened proceedings with his sparkling play in the forward line. The left-footed Rogers used a banana kick from the right pocket to score his first goal after receiving a free-kick.

A splendid knock by Love from a ball-up was gathered by Dehavilland, whose snap shot slammed into a goal post to register a behind.

Lawrence Evans cleverly intercepted a Perth handpass to enable Rohr to send the ball forward and into the goalsquare where Coen Jackman soccered a goal to give Claremont a three-point lead at quarter-time.

Jackman then booted Claremont’s next goal eight minutes into the second term, after he had marked a short pass from the extremely busy Rogers.

Perth replied with the next two goals before a great handpass from Dehavilland to Love resulted in Rohr taking a strong mark in the left pocket and then booting his side’s fifth goal.

Early in the third term a kick forward from Dehavilland was marked, low down, 5m out in the right pocket by Brown for his second goal.

Good work from Zane Verbruggen Jack Burton, and a free-kick to Jackman, who passed accurately to Dehavilland, whose miskick was marked low down by Burton for another major.

A clever snap for a goal by Banfield late in the quarter reduced the deficit to four points before a Perth reply saw the home side go into the final term with a ten-point advantage.

Felix Rogers notched his second major with a snap early in the fourth quarter, and then Jack Musika’s short pass was marked by Jackman, who managed only a point.

Claremont outscored the home side 3.4 to 1.1 in the quarter and the Tigers prevailed by five points, with Jack Maibaum, Sean Williams and Campbell Rogers retaining their composure to thwart the Perth forwards in the final ten minutes of play.

Details: Claremont 11.13 (79) beat Perth 11.8 (74).

Scorers---CLAREMONT: L. Brown 4.4; F. Rogers 2.2; C. Jackman 2.1; B. Banfield, J. Burton, M. Rohr 1.0; K. Dehavilland, W. Love 0.2; 2pts forced.

Best---CLAREMONT: K. Dehavilland, B. Banfield, F. Rogers, W. Love, J. Matthews, M. Mumme, L. Brown, C. Jackman, J. Maibaum, S. Williams.