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Development Report: Plucky Tigers Fall Short of Lions

Monday, September 4, 2017 - 2:08 PM
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By Dan Scamozzi

A disappointing performance from Claremont’s Reserves resulted in a two-point loss to Subiaco in the qualifying final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday.

The 13.8 (86) to 13.10 (88) defeat leaves Claremont needing to win the first semifinal against Swan Districts to keep their season alive, and resulted in the Tigers being smashed in clearances, outspread, outworked in midfield and outhunted.

Ben Higgs (ankle) and Jack Richardson (hamstring) failed to play out the game, with Matt Palfrey (back) a late withdrawal.

Subiaco’s ability to win the ball from stoppages, surge forward and punish Claremont from turnovers was the difference between the teams, with the Tigers left wanting in terms of work rate and application.

Eddie Simpson (seven marks, five goals) provided a focal point in the forward line and kept the Tigers in the match, despite missing two easy set-shots at goal in the final term.

Fraser Gilbert, playing his first Reserves match since round 21 after two League games, led the way in defence, barely lost a contest and won the players’ player award, with Brett Wilson setting the tone with his attack on the contest, strength and will to inspire the team.

Tom Shanahan (20 disposals) led the way in a beaten midfield with his unwavering attack on the ball and ability to bring teammates into the game, with Chris (CJ) Oakley (six tackles, two goals) combining his time between the forward line and stints on the ball with aplomb.

Dylan Nelson and Dylan Clarke kicked three goals apiece for Subiaco, with the Lions recording 11 more inside 50s and advancing to the second semifinal.

With the Tigers kicking to the northern end of the ground in the opening term, a goal to Nelson gave the Lions first blood, before Richardson dribbled through Claremont’s first major.

A goal to Kaiden Gilbert gave the Tigers two in a row with Jeremy Goddard having an early influence, before Ray Daniels levelled the scores for Subiaco.

A strong mark in defence from Lachlan Martinis started a lightning transition through the corridor and resulted in a goal to Simpson as the Tigers reclaimed the lead, before Clarke nudged the Lions in front once again.

Oakley then made Subiaco pay for a deliberate out of bounds from the tightest of angles and gave Claremont a five-point lead at quarter-time.

Coach Kepler Bradley lauded Claremont’s defence and forward pressure but implored the midfield to lift, with the Tigers comprehensively beaten in clearances.

An intercept mark, two running bounces and second major to Oakley gave the Tigers first blood in the second term and a nine-point lead, before a strong grab and second goal to Simpson extended it to 15 points.

Subiaco’s Ryan Vermeersch then made the Tigers pay for some sloppiness in defence, before Clarke kicked his second goal to pull the Lions to within three points.

A free-kick and 50m penalty to Oliver Eastland saw the Tiger kick truly, before a third to Clarke continued the seesawing contest.

The Tigers were then left one player short on the interchange after Higgs was stretchered from the ground, before Richardson set up Simpson for his third goal.

A sloppy handball in defence saw Subiaco’s Brayden Ainsworth make the Tigers pay and pulled the Lions to within one point at half-time, with the game up for grabs in splendid conditions.

An uncontested mark enabled Subiaco’s Tim Sutherland to kick the first goal of the second half and put the Lions five points ahead, before the Tigers were sliced open through the corridor and Nelson kicked his second.

A second to Ainsworth resulted in Subiaco taking a 16-point lead and had the Tigers in trouble, before a desperate tackle resulted in Dylan Holt responding for Claremont.

A third major to Nelson saw Subiaco grab a quick reply, before consecutive goals to Simpson (five) either side of Richardson limping from the field pulled the Tigers to within two points of the Lions at the final change.

With Bradley encouraging Claremont to isolate Simpson in the forward line, the Tigers began the final term two players down on the interchange but full of gusto, as a goal-saving tackle from Shanahan served as early inspiration that the game was well and truly up for grabs.

However, goals to Vermeersch (second) and Josh Underwood saw Subiaco out to a 14-point lead at the 20-minute mark, with the Tigers unable to capitalise on their chances going forward.

A bursting surge through traffic and tremendous finish from Bailey Rogers pulled the team to within eight points, before a goal to Corey Mitchell in the dying stages set up a thrilling finish.

Unfortunately, the final siren sounded shortly after the centre bounce as the Tigers fell agonisingly short but live to fight another day.

CLAREMONT 4.2 8.3 11.6 13.8 (76)

SUBIACO 3.3 7.8 11.8 13.10 (78)


CLAREMONT: 5 E. Simpson, 2 C. Oakley, 1 B. Rogers, C. Mitchell, K. Gilbert, O. Eastland, D. Holt, J. Richardson.

SUBIACO: 3 D. Nelson, D. Clarke, 2 R. Vermeersch, B. Ainsworth, 1 J. Underwood, T. Sutherland, R. Daniels.


CLAREMONT: E. Simpson, F. Gilbert, B. Wilson, T. Shanahan, C. Oakley.

SUBIACO: B. Ainsworth, B. Matera, R. Borchet, K. Hayden, D. Clarke.