Tigers bounce back to claw into Falcons
Tigers bounce back to claw into Falcons

Claremont recovered from a 10-goal opening round loss to Perth to beat defending premiers West Perth by 12 points at Arena Joondalup today.

The Tigers kicked five of the last six goals of the match to take the match 10.10 (70) to 8.10 (58).

Midfielders Luke Blackwell and Jake Murphy bounced back to their best form for the winners, captain Murphy finishing with 31 possessions, seven tackles, 12 clearances and four inside 50s.

Blackwell was no less effective with 32 possessions, 13 clearances and four inside 50s.

West Perth midfielders Shane Nelson (38 possessions) and Aaron Black (34) also wielded an influence but were powerless to stop the late Claremont surge in the game which finished in driving rain.

The Tigers trailed at each of the changes, behind by six points, two points and four points, but added 2.4 (16) in the final term while holding the Falcons scoreless.

It was West Perth’s second loss in as many games this season and their premiership defence doesn’t get any easier with a home match against league improvers Perth next Saturday.

A four-goal haul to Anthony Tsalikis wasn’t enough for the Falcons, the veteran forward Tsalikis booting three in the third quarter to help keep his team in the contest.

Claremont forward Jack Richardson, in just his third league game, kicked the first goal of the match at the nine-minute mark of the opening quarter.

The Falcons snapped out of their lethargy with consecutive goals to prolific midfielder Nelson, captain Jay van Berlo and Matt Fowler in the next eight minutes op open up an 11-point lead.

Rookie Max Bentley, in his second league match, hit back late in the term with a goal for the Tigers to reduce the margin to six points at the first change.

The game developed into an arm wrestle after Tom Ledger levelled for Claremont in the opening minutes of the second stanza.

Tsalikis moved his team five-points ahead with a goal soon after but consecutive six-pointers to classy forward Andrew Foster gave the Tigers a slender four-point lead and the chance of an unlikely lead at half time.

Ruckman Chris Keunen had others ideas, finding range late in the quarter to give the Falcons a two-point lead at the long break.

Tsalikis booted his second and third goals of the match inside the first 10 minutes of the third term to give West Perth a 15-point buffer.

Claremont fought their way back into the contest and hit the front after goals to debutante Brenden Abbott, Richardson and young ruckman Darcy Cameron.

Tsalikis’ third goal for the quarter gave West Perth a slender four-point advantage at three-quarter time.

Andrew Krakouer played three quarters in the WAFL reserves but is likely to still be four weeks from a league football return.


CLAREMONT2.35.58.610.1070
WEST PERTH3.35.78.108.10 58
GOALS – CLAREMONT: Foster 3; Richardson 2; Neates, Ledger, Abbott, Cameron, Bentley . WEST PERTH: Tsalikis 4; Nelson, Fowler, van Berlo, Keunen.

BEST – CLAREMONT: Murphy, Blackwell, Aitchison, Ledger, Foster, Franz. WEST PERTH: Nelson, Tsalikis, Black, Rasmussen, Browne, Barthlomew.
INJURIES - CLAREMONT: Ledger (cut head). WEST PERTH: Hunt (groin) replaced by Antonio in the selected side.
REPORTS: Williams (C) for charging.
UMPIRES: J Wright, M Worobec, S McPhee.
CROWD: 1500 (approx) at Arena Joondalup.

The West Australian

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