Claremont will host the second semifinal after securing the minor premiership with a comfortable 101-point win over Subiaco at Claremont Oval today.
The Tigers rebounded from last week's loss to Swan Districts to post an impressive 23.13 (151) to 7.8 (50) victory over the inexperienced Lions, who finished the season in seventh place with seven wins.
Claremont will meet second-placed Swans again at Claremont Oval next weekend for the right to advance directly to the grand final, with the loser benefitting from a second chance in the preliminary final.
Midfielder Kane Mitchell was outstanding as Claremont thumped Subiaco, finishing with 35 possesions and three goals in a typically hard-working display.
He was one of seven multiple goal kickers, with Ian Richardson (five goals), Tom Lee (four) and Rory Walton (three) joining in the onslaught.
The Tigers jumped out of the blocks and kicked the first seven goals of the game before Subiaco key forward Brant Chambers stopped the rot.
First-year defender Daniel Leishman had a nightmare start for Subiaco, giving away two free kicks to Richardson off the ball in the opening term.
One resulted in a goal to Richardson and another robbed Subiaco forward Callum Sinclair the chance to stem the tide when he was lining up for a set shot 20m out directly in front.
Leishman gave away a third free kick minutes later that allowed Richardson to kick his second major as the Tigers kicked away to a 34-point quarter-time lead.
The scoring slowed in the second term due in part to Claremont’s poor kicking at goal and stern defence from Subiaco.
It took the Tigers 18 minutes of the second quarter to break the drought through Rory Walton, who converted from 40m after taking a grab unmarked.
Claremont kicked the first three goals of the third quarter and looked like blowing the game even further open.
Quick goals to Rhett Kerr and classy youngster Dominic Sheed stemmed the tide before Claremont clicked back into gear and notched six of the remaining seven goals before three-quarter time.
Fremantle-listed Claremont defender Alex Silvagni and Subiaco forward Clancy Wheeler both left the field after receiving heavy hits in separate incidents during the third quarter, but both returned before the game was over.
The defeat was Subiaco’s heaviest defeat since a similar 101-point hiding from East Fremantle in 1998.
Young ruckman Seva Martin was one of three debutants for Subiaco on a dark day for the club alongside Simon Moore and Tim White.
Martin, from Railways, worked hard all day but was beaten by Mitch Andrews, who returned to the Claremont side after seven games in the reserves.
Claremont football manager Dean Horsington said the club expected hard-running Andrew Foster (pinched nerve) and West Coast midfielder Tom Swift (broken nose) to be available next week despite both game-ending suffering injuries.Foster pinched a nerve in his right elbow injury in the opening five minutes but the Tigers’ forward line and midfield didn’t skip a beat.
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