CLAREMONT have continued their unbeaten start to the 2021 Optus WAFL Premiership Season, defeating Perth by 32 points in an entertaining clash at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In a match that had plenty of feeling, it was the Tigers who prevailed, coming out with a 16.14 (110) to 12.6 (78) victory to remain undefeated on the back of reaching last year's Grand Final while the Demons continue to struggle fresh off breaking their finals drought in 2020.
Former Port Adelaide listed midfielder Jake Patmore continued his strong form for Claremont, providing plenty of drive for the Tigers from his 28 disposals alongside fellow midfielders Bailey Rogers (30 disposals) and Jye Bolton (33 disposals and 12 clearances).
They received good support from rebounding defender Lachlan Martinis, who was excellent with 30 disposals whilst Alex Manuel and Harrison McCracken were opportunistic as forwards, kicking seven crafty goals between them and applying plenty of pressure.
For Perth, defensive duo Michael Sinclair and Matthew Taylor were strong contributors in the backline, while experienced forward Matthew Rogers provided a strong target up forward, booting three goals from 17 disposals.
The Tigers found inspiration from the round ball game early, with their opening two goals coming in soccer style via small forwards Alex Manuel and Callan England.
Demons ruckman Dakota Baldwin-Wright put Perth on the board, kicking truly from a sharp angle but Claremont would slam on three consecutive goals to finish the quarter, opening up a 21-point lead at the first change.
Claremont looked like they may skip away from the Demons when champion midfielder Jye Bolton kicked truly to open up a 27-point buffer early in the second term.
But Perth continued to stay within reach of the home side, battling hard to ensure the margin remained at 21 points at half-time.
Strongly-built forward Conor McPartland kicked the first goal of the second half to cut the margin to 15 points and spark thoughts of an unlikely Perth comeback.
But as they had all afternoon, Claremont answered every Perth challenge with aplomb, rattling on the next five majors to charge to a 45-point lead at three quarter-time
Perth never stopped working, kicking five goals to two in the final term, but the damage had well and truly been done as Claremont rounded out a comfortable win.
TIGER CUB SHOWS HE'S IN THE RIGHT LANE
In the absence of regular ruckman Oliver Eastland, 19-year-old Kalin Lane had the opportunity to lead the Claremont ruck division on debut. The Denmark product didn’t look out of place rucking in a good battle against with Perth big man Dakota Baldwin-Wright, taking four marks around the ground and helping his midfielders gain an edge in clearances (36-26). The 204cm beanpole kicked his first goal late in the third quarter and was mobbed by his teammates, showing he is not only a promising young player but popular member of the Claremont playing group.
SKIPPER STANDS STRONG FOR PERTH
After a disappointing loss to Swan Districts last Saturday night, Perth coach Garry Moss would have been looking to his leaders to stand up ahead of the tough trip to Claremont. He couldn’t have asked much more from his ever reliable captain Michael Sinclair, who showed composure and class in defence, to pick up 28 disposals and 13 marks and ensure his side would stay competitive across the afternoon.
OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 3
CLAREMONT 5.4 8.7 14.8 16.14 (110)
PERTH 2.1 5.4 7.5 12.6 (78)
CLAREMONT: Goals – McCracken 4; Manuel 3; Buller 2; Edwards, Bolton, England, Patmore, Treacy, Barton, Lane.
Best – Bolton, Rogers, Martinis, McCracken, Mountford, Patmore, Manuel, England.
PERTH: Goals – Rogers 3; Richardson, Stubbs 2; Byrne, Clarke, McPartland, Cary, Baldwin-Wright.
Best – Sinclair, Grey, Rogers, Taylor, Baldwin-Wright, Edmonds, Masten.