Bulldogs downed by Tigers on last goal of the game

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 3:34 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle kept fighting and drew level late in the game against Claremont at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday but the Bulldogs couldn't quite win a sixth straight game with the Tigers kicking the game's last goal to win by six points.

South Fremantle came into Saturday's contest having both won five straight matches this WAFL season and having won the last four against Claremont including earlier this season already in a country fixture in Albany.

Claremont came into the game with just the one win for the season and that was with the last kick of the game against East Fremantle, but the Tigers were a vastly more competitive outfit than that all suggested.

The Tigers kicked four goals to one in the first quarter and were 27 points in front when Ian Richardson goaled at the seven-minute mark of the second term.

But from there, South Fremantle found its most impressive football of the afternoon with seven goals to two over the next 17 minutes to lead by three points heading into half-time.

It was then a close contest throughout the second half and scores all tied up at the 27-minute mark of the last term when Haiden Schloithe goaled following drawing a trademark high tackle free-kick.

Claremont would have the last say, though, with Tom Lee finding some space in attack to mark and goal from 35m out directly in front and deliver Claremont the 13.10 (88) to 12.10 (82) victory.

The win improves Claremont to a 2-5 record on the season while South Fremantle remains in second position on the ladder at 5-2.

Cory Dell'Olio might have missed South Fremantle's first four games of the 2018 season through suspension but had kicked seven goals in his first two matches and booted another three on Saturday to go with seven kicks, three marks and three tackles.

Mason Shaw also kicked two goals for the Bulldogs with South Fremantle's forward-line significantly smaller without Ben Saunders and by going with Dell'Olio, Daniel Cabassi, Ashton Hams, Blaine Johnson and Matthew Parker. 

Only Parker kicked a goal out of those players aside from Dell'Olio and he also had 17 possessions and seven tackles.

South Fremantle's hopes weren’t helped with in-form midfielder Shane Hockey left concussed early in the game ending his afternoon prematurely. 

Marlion Pickett stepped up tremendously to have a career-best 36 possessions along with six tackles, six inside 50s and four marks while captain Dylan Main had 25 touches, seven inside-50 entries and six tackles. 

Ruckman Brock Higgins was superb again in a workhorse display made up of 21 touches, four tackles and 56 hit outs. 

Haiden Schloithe also had 24 possessions and 10 tackles for the Bulldogs while Steve Verrier reacted well to a week in the reserves by delivering 20 disposals and 10 tackles on return. Jacob Dragovich picked up 19 possessions, Ashton Hams 17 and Brandon Donaldson 16 along with six tackles.

But outside of that, South Fremantle had 12 players who had 10 disposals or less and they just didn’t get as many strong contributors as they had been having over the previous five wins.

Claremont signalled its intentions early on Saturday with an early goal to start the goal to Ryan Murphy who was playing as a small forward. 

The Tigers went on to kick the first three majors of the game too with Nick Winmar kicking a beauty on the ruck not long after having recovered from copping a heavy knock, and Keifer Yu adding another. 

South Fremantle's first goal came at the 30-minute mark with a clever snap from Matthew Parker, but Claremont was up by 14 points at quarter-time thanks to a second goal of the term to Yu.

Claremont's lead was back out to 20 points with Murphy's second goal to start the second term and then it was a game-high 27 points with Ian Richardson kicking truly at the seven-minute.

That put the onus back on South Fremantle to respond and the Bulldogs did so impressively with goals to Mason Shaw and Steve Verrier before Jordan Law steadied things for Claremont.

But South Fremantle then kicked five goals in the space of nine minutes with three of those to Cory Dell'Olio before Claremont did kick the last of the half through Tom Lee to cut the Bulldogs' lead to just the three points at the break.

Lee then kicked the first goal of the second half to put Claremont back in front and then he added the only other goal of the third term to give the Tigers a 10-point advantage.

South Fremantle closed the gap back to two points again with an early final term goal to Brandon Donaldson before Ryan Lim answered back for the Tigers.

The Bulldogs drew back within three points with a goal to Dylan Main but the Tigers continued to have the answers. In Richardson again answered but then the Bulldogs managed consecutive goals to Ryan Cook and Haiden Schloithe to level scores at the 27-minute mark.

The Bulldogs had a golden chance going forward when Ashton Hams pin-pointed a pass to Claremont defender Anton Hamp. The Tigers then went forward and Lee was found with space in attack. He marked and goaled and Claremont won by the six points as a result.

South Fremantle's reserves won its fourth game of the 2018 season to move into fifth position on the ladder beating Claremont 8.13 (61) to 7.11 (53) on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

Claremont kicked three goals to one in the second quarter to take a five-point advantage into the break but South Fremantle responded with four goals to two in the second half to come away with the eight-point win in challenging conditions.

Steven Edwards, Andre Coutinho and Zac De San Miguel kicked two goals apiece for South Fremantle.

Kyle Russell collected 23 possessions for the Bulldogs, Trent Reed 23 (10 tackles), Coutinho 18, Zac Strom 17 (10 marks), Tom Eastaugh 17, Bruno Faulkner 15, Glenn Byron 15 and De San Miguel 15.

Blair Della Franca finished with 13 touches and 26 hit outs in the ruck.

South Fremantle's colts began the day impressively beating Claremont by 25 points at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

It was a tight first half with scores tied at quarter-time and then Claremont taking a three-point advantage into half-time before the Bulldogs kicked the only two goals of the third quarter, and four to one in the last to claim the 8.6 (54) to 3.11 (29) victory.

The win improved South Fremantle to a 3-4 record on the season to sit in seventh position on the colts ladder. Meanwhile, Claremont is also 3-4 in eighth spot on the back of having played in the past five colts grand finals.

Tom Weston kicked three goals for South Fremantle and Luke Moore two to go with 21 possessions and six marks.

Toby McQuilkin also collected 21 disposals for the Bulldogs, Enrique Aiken-Featherstone 19, Matthew Ward 19, Tom Blechynden 18 and James Russell 15 to go with eight tackles.

South Fremantle will look to immediately bounce back from the loss up against East Fremantle in the WA Day Foundation Derby at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Monday.

SOUTH FREMANTLE 1.5 8.6 8.8 12.10 (82)
CLAREMONT 4.1 8.3 10.4 13.10 (88)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Dell'Olio 3; Shaw 2; Schloithe, Verrier, Donaldson, Main, Florenca, Cook, Parker.
Best: Higgins, Pickett, Main, Schloithe, Verrier, Dell'Olio, Parker.
CLAREMONT – Goals: Lee 4; Yu, Richardson, Murphy 2; Lim, Winmar, Law.
Best: Bolton, Hardisty, Lee, Murphy, Mitchell, Winmar, Busher.