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Smallwood Shows the Way

Monday, May 13, 2024 - 4:52 PM

By Ken Casellas

With nine minutes before the final siren Claremont’s reserves side held a comfortable 35-point lead over Perth at Lathlain Park on Saturday when Tigers midfielder Tyron Smallwood, on the grandstand wing, hurled his body at the boot of Perth’s Ryan Newick to smother his kick and force the ball out of bounds.

This typified Smallwood’s selfless dedication and was a team-lifting act in a match in which the 24-year-old excelled with his skill and fierce attack on the ball.

Perth scored the first three goals of the match before the Tigers assumed control and kicked 12 goals while restricting the Demons to two goals in the final three quarters to win by 49 points and remain the only unbeaten side after seven rounds.

It was during Perth’s early dominance that Claremont’s Mister Reliable Sean Williams stood out with three timely marks, including one contested capture at the head of a milling pack.

A long shot from busy wingman Menno Inverarity brought up Claremont’s first goal after 25 minutes, and the Tigers needed greater efficiency in attack as they trailed Perth 1.9 to the home side’s 3.2 at the ten minute mark of the second term before a Ben Evans kick was marked by ruckman Max Rohr, whose goal put the Tigers in front by a point.

A Kim Kantilla handpass to West Love resulted in Claremont’s third major, following some stout defensive work from Harry Cole, Joe Matthews and Tristan Ballard. Midfielder Ashton Bryant was a driving force, and a minute before the siren ended the quarter Kantilla received a handpass from Riley Disisto and booted the first of his two goals.

This was a just reward for effort and the Tigers led by 12 points at the long break, despite many haphazard entries into attack and missed targets. There was an urgent need for greater composure and efficiency.

Early in the third term Smallwood gathered a loose ball at centre-half-forward and scored the first of his two goals. Two minutes later, Ben Evans, in his debut for the reserves side, was swamped by his teammates after scoring a goal following a kick forward from Kai Dehavilland.

A short pass from Inverarity was marked by Anthony Treacy, whose goal late in the term extended Claremont’s lead to 20 points.

A goal to Sam van Rooyen early in the final term was followed by a goal to Perth’s Clayton Wood, and then Bryant gained the clearance from the resultant centre ball-up and delivered to Smallwood for Claremont’s ninth goal.

It was all one-way traffic and Dylan Mulligan, Kantilla and Bryant booted their side’s final three goals. An excellent short pass from Smallwood in the right pocket was marked by Kantilla, whose shot was astray. However, two minutes later Max Mumme’s low, spearing pass to Kantilla resulted in him making amends with a major.

Bailey van der Struyf has shown wonderful promise on a half-back flank this season and he was a shining light on Saturday when he took five marks, had 18 kicks, eight handpasses and six tackles.


Claremont 12.17 (89) beat Perth 5.10 (40)

Scorers---CLAREMONT: K. Kantilla 2.2; T. Smallwood 2.1; D. Mulligan 1.3; B. Evans, A. Treacy 1.2; S. van Rooyen 1.1; A. Bryant, M. Inverarity, W. Love, M. Rohr 1.0; K. Dehavilland 0.2; M. Mumme, F. Rogers, Z. Verbruggen 0.1; 1pt forced. PERTHJ: J. Kemp 2.1; J. Bodle 1.1; M. Hall, C. Wood 1.0; P. Wiseman 0.3; J. Bratovich, B. Fairbank, N. John, C. Sing, R. Wills 0.1.

Best---CLAREMONT: T. Smallwood, B. van der Struyf, S. Williams, A. Bryant, M. Rohr, F. Rogers, J. Matthews, M. Inverarity. PERTH: R. Wills, N. Shannon, R. Newick, C. Wood, B. Fairbank, N. Murray.