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League Report: Tigers Fall Short of Royals

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 1:58 PM
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By Dan Scamozzi

A fourth consecutive loss has left Claremont two games outside the top five and needing a miracle to play finals, after the Tigers suffered a heart-breaking four-point defeat to East Perth at Claremont Oval.

Despite a goalless first quarter, marred by poor ball use and several turnovers, the Tigers battled bravely but ended up losing 10.10 (70) to 11.8 (74).

East Perth’s cleaner ball use, better decision making and ability to take their chances were the differences between the teams, as the Tigers suffered their 10th loss of the season.

Promising midfielder Bailey Banfield finished as Claremont’s best player after tallying 32 disposals (18 contested), 12 clearances and a game-high seven inside 50s, while Haydn Busher (19 disposals, 10 marks, one goal) continued his outstanding form at centre half-back.

Harrison McCracken (23 disposals, seven tackles, four inside 50s) provided the team with invaluable run from half-back and propelled them forward, with Charles Le Fanu taking home the players’ player award for his superb efforts in defence.

Meanwhile, Ryan Lim (27 disposals, six tackles) continued his outstanding form in midfield, while Jared Hardisty laid a team-high eight tackles and Beau Maister kicked two goals.

East Perth were led by the experienced Nathan Blee, with co-captains Kyle Anderson (one goal) and Patrick McGinnity (22 disposals, 10 tackles, one goal) performing strongly.

With Eddie Simpson and Nick Winmar returning to the Claremont team who lost to Subiaco 14 days earlier for Jesse Laurie (ankle), Jack Richardson and Morgan Davies (both omitted), the Tigers kicked to the southern end of the ground in the opening term.

A goal-saving mark by the reliable Anton Hamp and an inspiring tackle by the ferocious Chris (CJ) Oakley were the highlights of a contested opening 15 minutes, before Ben Miller gave the visitors first blood.

A goal-saving contest by Busher briefly prevented the Royals from kicking their second goal, before Julian Ameduri did so after making the Tigers pay for some sloppiness in defence.

A 50m penalty then saw Anderson kick the Royals’ third and give the visitors a 20-point lead at quarter-time, with the Tigers desperately needing to improve their disposal efficiency and decision making.

A kick to the hot-spot by Hardisty saw Maister mark and kick the Tigers’ first major at the 12-minute mark of the second quarter, before an outstanding kick by Banfield saw Winmar do the same thing four minutes later.

A goal to Zac Langdon then gave the Tigers three in a row and the only majors of the term as the hosts took a one point lead at half-time.

Goals to acting captain Ian Richardson and Aaron Holt made it five in a row and a 13-point lead six minutes into the second half, with the Tigers now well on top and making the most of their forward entries.

A goal to McGinnity gave the Royals their first since the 24-minute mark of the opening term, before Matt Guelfi hit back with Claremont’s sixth.

However, five goals in 13 minutes, including two to Shayne Hille, saw the Royals finish the term strongly and take an 11-point lead at the final change despite a late goal to Oakley.

With Claremont coach Darren Harris encouraging the Tigers to take the game on, a second goal to Miller extended the Royals’ lead to 15 points at the 13-minute mark of the final term, before goals to Le Fanu and Busher pulled Claremont to within three points.

An uncontested mark in the goal square to ruckman Scott Jones at the 27-minute mark saw the Royals extend their lead to 10 points, before a booming goal (second) to Maister cut the margin to four points two minutes later.

However, the Royals held on for their seventh win of the season and first since round 15.

The Tigers will aim to rebound and keep their faint finals chances alive when they face Perth at Lathlain Park in round 20.

CLAREMONT 0.3 3.7 7.8 10.10 (70)

EAST PERTH 3.5 3.6 9.7 11.8 (74)

GOALS

CLAREMONT: 2 B. Maister, 1 Z. Langdon, M. Guelfi, N. Winmar, C. Oakley, C. Le Fanu, I. Richardson, H. Busher, A. Holt

EAST PERTH: 2 B. Miller, S. Hille, 1 M. Dobson, S. Jones, F. McInnes, J. Ameduri, K. Anderson, P. McGinnity, J. Giles.

BEST

CLAREMONT: B. Banfield, H. Busher, H. McCracken, C. Le Fanu, R. Lim.

EAST PERTH: N. Blee, T. North, J. Giles, K. Anderson.