Claremont have survived a second-half charge from West Perth to run out six-point winners at the Claremont Showground.
In a game of two halves, the Tigers had all the early running to lead by 28 points at half-time, but were shaded late by a Falcons unit which finally found some run.
The visitors looked to pull off a massive comeback when they reduced the deficit to just five points in the last quarter, but a goal to Jackson Starcevich was enough to see them hold on for a 8.6 (54) to 6.12 (48) win.
Matthew Davies (27 disposals) and Luke Blackwell (30) put in fantastic games for the Tigers, but the performance of West Perth’s Aaron Black (36 disposals) in the second half was clearly the best on the ground.
However despite the win, the results in other games have eliminated Claremont’s hopes of claiming an unlikely finals berth.
The pairing of Mark Seaby and Blackwell has been red hot in the back half of the season and once again the duo gave Claremont plenty of drive from the middle at the start of the match.
Tom Ledger kicked the first goal of the game for the Tigers within the first two minutes, drilling it on the run from 40 metres and kick-starting a period of play in which the home team were completely in control.
The Tigers held onto the ball with ease, spreading well to mark in space and deny the Falcons possession in a match-up which was looking increasingly one-sided.
And when the Falcons did have the ball, they invariably turned it over, allowing Tigers defender Jordan McAllister to rack up a glut of possessions in the back half.
But it wasn’t all roses for Claremont, who struggled to kick enough goals to mirror their dominance on the scoreboard.
When West Perth debutant Corey Chalmers kicked a goal with his first kick on the 21-minute mark, the Falcons were only two goals behind.
However the Tigers rallied again through late inclusion Andrew Foster for an 18-point lead at quarter time.
It was more of the same in a forgettable second quarter, with the Tigers on top and the Falcons butchering the few chances they were granted in front of goal.
Trailing by 28 points at the main break, the Falcons came out with a new-found intent in the second half as Aaron Black lifted in the midfield to give his side first use and kick-start a strong fight-back.
The visitors kept Claremont scoreless in the third term, but again butchered their own attacking opportunities, kicking 1.4 for the quarter despite having plenty of the ball.
|GOALS – CLAREMONT: Starcevich 2; Ledger, Bradshaw, Foster, Murphy, Neates, Abbott. WEST PERTH: Alexander, Martin 2; Chalmers, Rohde|
BEST – CLAREMONT: Davies, Blackwell, Seaby, Ledger, Neates, Murphy. WEST PERTH: Black, Nelson, Rasmussen, Adams, Bartholomew, J Van Berlo.