Claremont continued their strong midwinter form by keeping East Fremantle to their second lowest ever score against the Tigers in slogging conditions at the Showground today.
The Tigers won by 17 points against a team that managed just one goal in the first three terms but the margin did not reflect their dominance in a game played in heavy mud on the substandard surface.
Claremont finished with 7.10 (52) to 4.11 (35) as the Sharks just passed the total of 4.8 (32) they produced two years ago.
It was a perfect way for Claremont to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their 1964 grand final win over East Fremantle with the 18 survivors from that team honoured before the game.
East Fremantle's lack of discipline cost them dearly and their inability to play the muddy ground with as much poise as the home team proved the critical difference.
The most absorbing duel on the day was between Sandover medallists Luke Blackwell and Rory O'Brien who went head to head throughout the first half.
Blackwell took the honours with 38 disposals, even with tagger Scott Hancock going to him in the second half, while O'Brien relished the mud with 37 touches.
But Cam Eardley was East Fremantle's most effective midfielder on a day when skill took a long second place to endeavour and sheer hard labour.
Claremont started brightly and should have taken a bigger lead into the first break than their five point advantage.
The contest became a slog in the second term with the Sharks managing a solitary behind to Claremont's 1.1 with Ryan Neates snapping the only goal of the period.
East Fremantle played a man short for much of the day after Jordan Dorotich was knocked out in a collision with a teammate.
The sun came out in the second half but numerous wide puddles still marred the surface and made it nearly impossible to produce fluent football.
The Tigers managed two majors to none with Neates again running onto a loose ball to score before a turnover at half-back from veteran Steven Dodd allowed a chain of Claremont possessions and a second goal to Brenden Abbott.
Bradd Dalziell gave his team hope of a comeback with an early goal in the last term but Corey Yeo quickly answered with a classy snap that provided sufficient breathing space for Claremont to move to fifth spot.
|GOALS – CLAREMONT: Neates, Abbott 2; Taylor, Yeo, Bradshaw. EAST FREMANTLE: Eardley, B O’Brien, Dalziell, J Bristow.|
BEST – CLAREMONT: Blackwell, Ledger, Davies, Breakey, Handley, Yeo EAST FREMANTLE: Eardley, R O’Brien, Dodd, Stephen, Dalziell