A DOMINANT first quarter and strong last term saw minor premiers Claremont advance to a third straight WAFL grand final with a hard fought 32-point win over Swan Districts at Claremont Oval on Saturday.
Claremont has now finished as minor premiers each of the last three seasons and won the second semi-final each of those three years and now will be playing in a third successive grand final on the hunt of back-to-back premierships.
The Tigers came out firing kicking seven goals to one in the first quarter against Swans with the black-and-whites not entering their forward-50 until 11 minutes had gone. The first goal came at the 19-minute mark thanks to a moment of brilliance from young gun Dayle Garlett.
Claremont still retained control, though, opening up a 43-point advantage at the 11-minute mark of the second quarter but Swan Districts did gain some momentum with five goals in the second half of the quarter to only trail by 22 points at the main break.
By the 22-minute mark of the third quarter Swans found themselves within four points when Tim Geappen kicked through his second goal and while the margin was again just six points at the seven-minute mark of the last term thanks to Geappen's third, Claremont finished the stronger.
From that point, Claremont kicked the last four goals of the game to run out 17.16 (118) to 14.2 (86) winners.
Tom Lee continued his outstanding season up forward for Claremont finishing with six goals from 15 possessions and five marks. Rory Walton also kicked three goals with Ian Richardson and Chad Jones adding two each.
Sandover Medallist Luke Blackwell was outstanding in the midfield with 32 possessions, seven inside 50s and a goal with Jake Murphy picking up 26 disposals, Kane Mitchell 23, Byron Schammer 22, Tom Swift 21 and Andrew Foster 19.
Schammer also did well restricting Marlon Motlop to just 12 possessions.
Ash Hansen and Tim Geappen kicked three goals each for Swan Districts with Murray Newman and Dayle Garlett adding two apiece.
Fremantle's Lachie Neale picked up 27 possessions, Josh Roberts 26, Newman 20, Graham Jetta 18, Garlett 18, Justin Simpson 17 and debutant Anthony Stephens 16 and a goal.
Kyle Hams was outstanding in defence with 24 possessions while also keeping Paul Medhurst to just one behind and six disposals.
Swan Districts will now also sweat on rough conduct reports to key players Ash Hansen, Tallan Ames and Graham Jetta.
Meanwhile, in the reserves Claremont booked a spot in the grand final with a 61-point win over East Fremantle at Claremont Oval. Claremont controlled the game from the start and set up the eventual 15.14 (104) to 6.7 (43) win with eight goals to two in the second quarter.
Jack Bradshaw kept his hand up for a league berth with four goals for the Tigers with Keifer Yu, Anton Hamp, Jack Richardson and Matt Goyder kicking two each. Alroy Gilligan had 22 possessions, Matt Davies 21, Tom Willett 20, Yu 19 and Jarryd Morton 18.
East Fremantle will now take on Perth in the preliminary final next week. Against the Tigers on Saturday, Kieran King picked up 17 possessions, Corey Yeo 14 and James Bayliss 14. Max Duffy returned from injury to kick 1.3 from 10 disposals.
In the colts, reigning premier South Fremantle beat East Fremantle in a derby at East Fremantle Oval by 22 points. The Sharks started well to lead by a goal at half-time, but the Bulldogs kicked seven goals to one in the third quarter to set up the eventual 15.10 (100) to 11.12 (78) victory.
Sam Rundle, Blaine Johnson and Mason Shaw all kicked three goals apiece for South Fremantle with Dylan Main and Marvin Warrell picking up 21 possessions apiece.
Marco Paparone kicked three goals for East Fremantle as did Alex Howson with Lachlan Dennis and Jake Schleicher collecting 16 disposals.
Click here for the full summary of the semi-final results across all grades this weekend