CLAREMONT claimed the 2012 Foxtel Cup with a 44-point win over Werribee in the grand final at Patersons Stadium on Thursday night to make amends for being runners up last year.
Claremont went down to Williamstown in last year's grand final, but made up for it this time around with a dominant second half, scoring eight goals to three to run out 15.9 (99) to 8.7 (55) winners over Werribee.
The WAFL's Tigers got off to a flying start with two goals inside the first two minutes and booted the first four majors of the game before Werribee got three late goals before quarter-time thanks to two free-kicks and a 50-metre penalty.
Werribee then also got the first goal of the second quarter courtesy of another free-kick to close the gap further, but Claremont steadied to lead by 11 points at half-time and then dominated the second half to cruise to the impressive 44-point victory under lights at Patersons Stadium.
Even though Claremont was without key players Luke Blackwell, Chad Jones, Paul Medhurst, Trinity Handley, Byron Schammer and Jess Laurie, the depth at Tigerland was on show with players looking to make a case to be part of WAFL finals action in a month's time for the likely minor premiers.
Alroy Gilligan hasn’t played a WAFL game with Claremont since Round 12, so was desperate to show that he still has plenty to offer after being a star in last year's premiership victory. He was tremendous in the tough conditions with 13 possessions and five entries inside-50.
Tom Lee was the star, though, as he continued his outstanding recent goal kicking form by booting six from 12 possessions and five marks inside-50. Jack Bradshaw also booted two goals as did Fremantle's Nick Suban to go with 15 disposals, six clearances, five tackles and five inside 50s.
Two experienced Claremont players who missed last year's premiership, but have tasted numerous grand final defeats are Andrew Ruck and Rory Walton, and both were terrific as they finally got their hands on a cup.
Ruck went up against Majak Daw and Will Sullivan, and worked tirelessly to finish with 27 hit outs and eight tackles while Walton was perfectly suited to the conditions and had 13 possessions, 11 of which were contested.
Captain Andrew Browne hasn’t played a game in the WAFL yet this season due to injury, but showed he's ready with a good performance across half-back with 10 touches.
Jeremy McGovern also worked hard up forward and in the ruck to finish with 13 disposals.
It was an experienced and talented line-up that Werribee brought west with coach Scott West putting everything into trying to win the Foxtel Cup and keep it in the VFL after Williamstown's triumph last year.
Werribee's team consisted of North Melbourne-listed players such as Daw, Levi Greenwood, Malcolm Lynch, Cameron Pederson, Ben Speight and Ben Warren, as well as players familiar with the WAFL including Ben McKinley (East Perth), Will Sullivan (Perth) and Ben Sharp (West Perth).
Warren finished with three goals for the VFL's Tigers with Greenwood picking up 16 possessions, Matthew O'Dwyer 14, Speight 14, Pederson 12, Ben Ross 12 and veteran Leigh Harding 11.
CLAREMONT 4.3 7.3 11.7 15.9 (99)
WERRIBEE 3.0 5.4 5.4 8.7 (55)
CLAREMONT – Goals: Lee 6; Suban, Bradshaw 2; Gillespie, Gilligan, McGovern, Morton, Richardson.
Best: Lee, Gilligan, McGovern, Suban, Walton, Ruck.
WERRIBEE – Goals: Warren 3; Greenwood, Harding, McKinley, Sherlock, Speight.
Best: Greenwood, O'Dwyer, Ross, Pederson, Warren, Speight.