Round 20 – Perth v Claremont Match ReportMonday, August 7, 2017 - 1:10 AM - by Chris Pike
PERTH once again started strongly but couldn’t keep it going with Claremont keeping its season alive with a confidence-boosting 99-point thrashing of the Demons at Lathlain Park on Saturday.
Unfortunately for Perth, Saturday's game followed a familiar trend with the Demons starting well and even leading at quarter-time but then being overrun and suffering a disappointing defeat.
All that was amplified on Saturday with Perth doing well to lead by five points after an impressive first quarter.
But Claremont went on to kick the next 14 goals in a remarkable run with Perth not managing its fifth and final goal of the game until 15 minutes into the last term.
That saw Claremont end up winning 20.13 (133) to 5.4 (34) to keep its finals dream alive.
The win snapped a four-game losing slide for the Tigers and improves them to a 7-10 record to be just a game behind the fifth placed East Perth with games against South Fremantle, Swan Districts and West Perth to finish the season. Win all three and Claremont could play finals.
Meanwhile, it was a 10th straight defeat for Perth by an average of 62.3 points.
Perth remains the highest-scoring first quarter team in the WAFL but by far the lowest-scoring side in the last three terms. The Demons also average conceding 91 points after quarter-time per game this season which is by far the highest number across the competition.
It was a dominant performance by Claremont finishing with 104 more disposals, 54 extra marks, 20 more inside-50 entries and 33 scoring shots to nine. A 99-point win with 24 more scoring shots is about par.
Reigning Sandover Medallist Jye Bolton continued to show he's well and truly rediscovered his form of 2016 with 40 possessions, 14 marks, six tackles, seven inside-50 entries and a goal.
Tom Ledger amassed another 29 possessions for Claremont, the returning Ryan Neates 27, Bailey Banfield 24, Jake Murphy 23, Ryan Lim 23 and Harrison McCracken 21.
The absence of ruckman Mitch Andrews was covered by both Jeremy Goddard (seven possessions, 30 hit outs) and Oliver Eastland (19 touches, seven marks, eight hit outs, one goal).
Claremont's forward-line was given plenty of opportunities with Beau Maister having a field day kicking five goals from 11 shots on goal, 13 kicks and 10 marks.
Alex Manuel kicked three goals form 20 disposals as well with CJ Oakley kicking three majors from 17 possessions.
Ian Richardson worked hard for 24 possessions and 12 marks while driving the ball inside-50 on nine occasions with Zac Langdon contributing 28 disposals and eight marks.
Haydn Busher enjoyed the day against his former team in defence as well racking up 28 possessions and 15 marks.
Kurtis Chester kicked three of Perth's five goals to go with 13 possessions and seven marks.
Demons skipper Clint Jones gathered 33 possessions, Brant Colledge 27, Corey Byrne 21, Michael Sinclair 20 and Aidan Tropiano 19.
Christian Eyres battled hard in the ruck for 16 disposals, five marks, four tackles and 30 hit outs.
It took only a minute for Perth to make a positive start on home turf with a goal to Anton Scotney. Claremont replied just a minute later but the Demons regained the lead with Chester the goal scorer.
Following a couple of behinds, Maister booted his first of the day for the Tigers and Matt Guelfi soon added another for the visitors, but with Taran Etto adding another for the Demons and Chester kicking a second of the first quarter, Perth was able to take a five-point lead into quarter-time.
That goal for Perth to Chester at the 25-minute mark would be its last until the 15-minute of the last term as Claremont took control of the contest in remarkable fashion.
The Tigers kicked the only six goals of the second quarter to lead by 33 points at half-time and then another four goals to no score from Perth in the third term to take a commanding 63-point lead into three quarter-time.
Claremont then kicked the first four goals of the last term as well in the opening 10 minutes to give the Tigers a 14th consecutive goal as the lead ballooned to 87 points.
Perth finally got its fifth goal of the match with Chester kicking his third of the game. But it wasn’t the start of any momentum switch with the Tigers going on to boot the last three goals from Lim, Manuel and Ledger for the 99-point triumph.
Perth returned to the bottom of the ladder through percentage with the big loss. Now the Demons try to record their third win of the season against the third placed reigning premier Peel Thunder at Bendigo Bank Stadium this Saturday.
Claremont, meanwhile, must keep winning to stay in the finals hunt and the Tigers face a significant test at Claremont Oval on Saturday to the second placed South Fremantle who is on a seven-game winning streak.
PERTH 4.1 4.3 4.3 5.4 (34)
CLAREMONT 3.2 9.6 13.12 20.13 (133)
PERTH – Goals: Chester 3; Scotney, Etto.
Best: Jones, Colledge, Chester, McFarlane, Byrne.
CLAREMONT – Goals: Maister 5; Oakley, Manuel 3; Neates, Murphy, Lim, Bolton, Ledger, Guelfi, Langdon, Banfield, Eastland.
Best: Bolton, Busher, Maister, Langdon, Neates, Ledger, Lim, Richardson, Murphy.