Tigers league side rue slow start as they bow out in prelim final while reserves knocked out in straight sets

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
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Claremont’s Tom Baldwin tries to break free from South Fremantle’s Manfred Kelly.
Camera IconClaremont’s Tom Baldwin tries to break free from South Fremantle’s Manfred Kelly. Credit: Simon Santi

Claremont’s league and reserves side were both eliminated from the 2021 WAFL premiership race after going down narrowly in their respective preliminary finals on Sunday.

The Tigers league outfit were left to rue a slow start in their 11-point loss to arch rivals South Fremantle while their reserves side were knocked out in straight sets after going down to Subiaco by eight points.

After being held goalless for the first three quarters of the league clash at Fremantle Community Bank Oval, the Tigers stormed home but were unable to progress to the grand final.

Trailing by 35 points at the last change, the Tigers kicked four unanswered goals in goals in the final term and kept the Bulldogs scoreless.

But last year’s premiers prevailed the 6.7 (43) to 4.8 (32) and advanced to the decider.

Claremont’s Anthony Davis fires out a handball.
Camera IconClaremont’s Anthony Davis fires out a handball. Credit: Simon Santi

Tigers co-captain Declan Mountford, who hails from North Albany, was named in the best players after giving his all through the midfield.

Mountford finished with 18 disposals, six tackles and two inside-50s.

Jerramungup and Royals junior Tom Baldwin was solid in defence, racking up 15 touches, four marks and two tackles along with Borden’s Anthony Davis, who had 15 possessions, two marks and three tackles.

Albany defender Dylan Smallwood laid five tackles and took three marks from nine disposals in the loss.

Former Albany colt and Kojonup product Travis Abbott came into the Bulldogs league team as a lead-up forward and managed five disposals, three marks and four tackles.

Defender Dylan Smallwood closes in on South Fremantle’s Manfred Kelly.
Camera IconDefender Dylan Smallwood closes in on South Fremantle’s Manfred Kelly. Credit: Simon Santi

The Tigers reserves went down by eight points to the Lions, eliminated in straight sets despite finishing four games clear on top.

Four unanswered goals in the final term guided the Lions to the 8.4 (52) to 6.8 (44) victory to book a grand final berth.

Railways’ Jacob Blight was among the Tigers best, finishing with eight disposals and five marks in defence.

North Albany junior Alex Pearce collected 13 touches and kicked a goal while Railways’ Bailey Bennett had 13 disposals, two marks, three tackles and three-inside 50s.

Albany ruckman Kieran Gowdie amassed a game-high 42 hit-outs to go with seven disposals while Royals and Albany product Tyron Smallwood had nine possessions, four tackles and three inside-50s.

The Tigers, who have the Great Southern as their regional recruiting zone, have their colts team in Saturday’s grand final at Optus Stadium.

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