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Reserves Remain Unbeaten | Round 13

Tuesday, July 2, 2024 - 4:29 PM

By Ken Casellas

A freak injury suffered by West Love at the opening bounce of the reserves match at Leederville Oval on Sunday left Claremont without their powerful ruckman for the remainder of the contest against East Fremantle.

To the great credit of the Tigers, they absorbed this major loss and went on to grind their way to a thrilling one-point victory to remain unbeaten after ten matches.

With Love out of action key forwards Dylan Mulligan and Sam van Rooyen stepped into the breach and worked wonderfully well in the ruck against East Fremantle’s formidable big man Reuben McGuire.

Love leapt high to win the knock at the opening bounce. But he landed on his left foot on top of McGuire’s foot and suffered considerable cartilage damage and had to hobble off the ground.

The injury will keep Love out of action for many weeks, but Claremont will welcome the return of ruckman Max Rohr for Saturday’s match against South Fremantle at Revo Fitness Stadium, with Rohr, a member of Claremont’s 2023 colts premiership side, becoming available after playing superbly for Western Australia in the national 18’s championship series in the past few weeks.

Claremont’s reserves side, coached by Darren Harper, has excelled throughout the season and leads the premiership table with ten wins, followed by Subiaco (seven wins), East Fremantle (six) and South Fremantle (five).

The splendid form of the club’s league, reserves and colts teams has the Tigers leading in the Rodriguez Shield competition with 201 points --- ahead of East Fremantle (187), Swan Districts (150) and South Fremantle (146).

The Rodriguez Shield was introduced in 1957 to reward the club with the best combined record at league, reserves and colts level. This year the WAFLW and Rogers Cup competitions have been added to the overall calculation of the award.

Ten points are allocated for a WAFL league win, four for reserves and colts wins, five for WAFLW wins and two for Rogers Cup victories.

Claremont’s colts side, coached by Ricki Smith, is on top of the premiership table with nine wins and one loss, with West Perth (seven wins, one draw and two losses) in second place and Subiaco (seven wins and three losses) third.

Mulligan worked tirelessly in the ruck, gaining 20 hit-outs and four clearances, as well as taking three marks, having eight kicks and seven effective handpasses.

Van Rooyen gained 14 hit-outs, and his eleven kicks included two goals. He also took a team high seven marks. His presence in the forward lines continues to be vital to his side’s performances.

Midfielder Ashton Bryant maintained his excellent form. Apart from his 18 kicks and nine effective handpasses he set a great example with his eleven tackles. He also sent the ball inside his side’s attacking 50m territory a team high five times, as well as rebounding the ball out of defence four times. Inverarity, on a wing and on the ball, was busy as usual with 15 kicks and 15 effective handpasses in a solid four-quarter display of hard running.

Zane Sumich announced his return to action after recovering from a hamstring strain with the opening goal 2min. 40sec. after the start, capitalising on great work on the left flank from Bryant and Kai Dehavilland.

Nine minutes later a long kick forward from van Rooyen found Darcy Redman in the goalsquare for Claremont’s second goal. Van Rooyen was causing the Sharks all sorts of problems, and he flew high to bring down a fine contested mark before kicking Claremont’s third goal. This followed an impressive dash by Menno Inverarity down the left wing.

East Fremantle, revealing an excellent brand of football and precise footpassing, took the lead early in the second quarter when Ethan Paholski scored the first of his three goals.

Zane Verbruggen was showing out with his sound work in defence, and 12 minutes into the quarter Max Mumme’s clever snapped goal gave the Tigers a one-point advantage which was increased seven minutes later when Riley Disisto met with interference in the goalsquare and booted a major with the resultant free-kick.

Lawrence Evans, Redman and Mulligan combined to get the ball forward where van Rooyen took the mark, played on and scored Claremont’s sixth goal. The Sharks scored goals after two free-kicks late in the term and the led 5.8 to Claremont’s 6.0 at half-time.

Claremont regained the lead early in the third quarter when Bryant and van Rooyen combined to deliver the ball to Felix Rogers for a goal. The next Tigers goal came 11 minutes later after some scrambly play which ended with Inverarity scoring from long range.

Rogers passed to Mumme for another major to stretch Claremont’s lead to 14 points. Sumich took an advantage free-kick to run into an open goal, and then Paholski took a mark and scored East Fremantle’s seventh goal as the siren sounded for three-quarter time, with the Tigers leading, 10.1 to 7.11.

Then, only one goal was registered in the final quarter. It came at the 17-minute mark after East Fremantle’s Matthew Burton took a mark to reduce Claremont’s lead to a solitary point. A behind to McGuire brought the scores level, and in the closing moments some good work from Mumme led to Lawrence Evans taking a mark and scoring a point with his long shot.

That gave the Tigers a one-point victory, thanks to a major degree to accurate shooting (10.3) and East Fremantle’s inaccuracy (8.14).

Remarkably, East Fremantle lost despite going into their 50m attacking zone 54 times to Claremont’s 31. Some indiscriminate tackling saw East Fremantle gaining 23 free-kicks to Claremont’s 12.        


Claremont 8.14 (63) beat East Fremantle 8.14 (62)

Scorers---CLAREMONT: M. Mumme, Z. Sumich, S. van Rooyen 2.0; R. Disisto 1.1; M. Inverarity, D. Redman, F. Rogers 1.0; L. Evans, Z. Verbruggen 0.1. EAST FREMANTLE: E. Paholski 3.0; C. Holmes 1.2; K. Austin, M. Burton, R. McGuire 1.1; J. Eastaugh 1.0; A. Ball, L. Marlin, J. Meade, K. Paton, Z. Rankin, C. Walker 0.1; 2pts forced.

Best---CLAREMONT: A. Bryant, M. Inverarity, D. Mulligan, S. Gilbey, K. Dehavilland, S. van Rooyen, Z. Verbruggen, M. Mumme, B. Banfield. EAST FREMANTLE: J. McDonald, C. Walker, L. Marlin, R. McGuire, Z. Rankin, M. Murphy, J. Meade, A. Ball, E. Paholski.