WAFLW Round 11 wrap: Tigers hold on to deny Dogs

CLAREMONT will be relieved to take home the four points following a one-point nail-biter against South Fremantle to avoid suffering back-to-back losses in the WAFL Women’s competition. Both sides entered the match coming off a bye which followed respective upset defeats, though the Bulldogs were able to bring back some key players, as the Tigers lost a number of top-end talents in the process.

In what was at times a dour affair, the two teams that enjoy moving the ball quickly were stifled, with South Fremantle often unable to penetrate Claremont’s defence, while the Tigers cold not consistently find the big sticks.

For the first 20 minutes it was an arm-wrestle with both team’s defences clearing the ball with ease and minimal chances inside 50 for either side. Only a rushed behind separated the competitors at the first break, before an early goal to Charlotte Tompkin looked like a chance of fortunes in the second term.

That would prove to be a false dawn however as the Tigers kicked four consecutive behinds – including two gettable chances to the normally reliable Adele Arnup – to not make the most of their forward half dominance. When South forced a turnover and caught Claremont on the hop for Zoe Huggett to run into an open goal.

By half-time the deficit was down to four points, with Claremont keeping South in the match. After the main break, Arnup got on the board with an important goal, and the Tigers led by as much as 10 points, nine minutes into the third term. The work of Jayme Harken and Jacinta Valentini through the midfield going forward were impacting, while Jessica Ritchie was working hard around the ground to provide a target.

South closed to within three points at the 14-minute mark, only for Claremont to lock it in its forward half for the last six minutes. Despite peppering the goals, the Tigers were only able to kick five straight behinds and move the ledger to 2.11 (23), holding a lead by eight extra behinds.

When Claremont kicked the first of the last term through Laura Cinnani – who had been one of the Tigers’ best thus far – the lead was out to 14 points. That margin was one they held up until the 14-minute mark when it looked to be all tied up. But the smarts of Noa McNaughton inside 50 saw her soccer home a goal to create something out of nothing amongst a pack of players.

The Bulldogs generated more chances thanks to the run of Molly O’Hehir and McNaughton in the front half and Hunter Cronin coming off half-back. Eventually Annalie Polimeno put one through, and with three minutes on the clock, the margin was two.

South Fremantle continued to attack, and when Polimeno snapped for a chance to put her side in front, it just missed with a minute to play. The Tigers went boundary side, but a stray out on the full kick gave South Fremantle one last roll of the dice. Cronin took the free, played on and pumped it inside 50, though Claremont had flooded back for the dying seconds, with no less than 15 players ahead of her in opposition jumpers compared to eight Bulldogs.

The numbers were able to nullify the contest, lock it up and allow the siren to sound to secure a one-point win in a game that looked to be sealed much earlier, but bad kicking kept the opposition in it and nearly saw the Bulldogs pinch the four points.

Harken amassed 32 disposals, five marks and four tackles in the win, with Valentini (26 disposals, three marks and three tackles) and Cinnani (21 disposals, five marks, seven tackles and a goal) all superb. Ortlepp was a welcome return in defence, while Ritchie and Kobi Nichols both battled hard around the ground for the Tigers.

For the Bulldogs, O’Hehir had a day out with 25 disposals, four marks, 13 tackles and seven inside 50,s working well with fellow top-ager McNaughton (21 disposals, three marks, five tackles an a goal). Cronin (19 disposals, six tackles) was fierce in defence, while the experienced duo of Liusaidh Gilchrist and Lauren Vecchio impressed yet again.

CLAREMONT 0.0 | 1.5 | 2.11 | 3.11 (29)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 0.1 | 1.1 | 2.3 | 4.4 (28)

A. Arnup, L. Cinnani, C. Tompkin
South Fremantle: Z. Huggett, N. McNaughton, A. Polimeno, K. Sprylan

J. Harken, L. Cinnani, C. Ortlepp, J. Valentini, J. Ritchie
South Fremantle: M. O’Hehir, N. McNaughton, H. Cronin, L. Gilchrist, L. Vecchio


Subiaco had a season-defining win over Swan Districts, getting up by 11 points at Leederville Open. The Lions held a strong 22-point lead at half-time, and while the Black Ducks did manage to finish strongly in the final term thanks to three goals to one, it would be too little, too late and Subiaco got up, 6.8 (44) to 5.3 (33).

Tall Olivia Wolmarans was active in attack and rotating through the ruck with 24 disposals, 10 tackles and 12 hitouts, while the AFLW-experienced duo of Krstel Petrevski and Beatrice Devlyn were a class above. Swan Districts top-ager Lily Paterson (25 disposals, five tackles and a goal) was again superb, working well with the likes of fellow teenagers, Carys D’Addario and Indiana West.

East Fremantle put some separation on West Perth inside the top two after defeating the Falcons by 17 points at Fremantle Oval. The Sharks took a while to shake off the much improved Falcons, eventually doing it in the final term with a three goals to one last quarter. In the end, East Fremantle came away with the 6.7 (43) to 4.2 (26) victory.

Though not quite the same as her 39-disposal effort the last time the sides played,Zippy Fish still found her fair share of the ball with 20 disposals and six marks, while fellow midfielder Chloe Wrigley had identical stats. Skipper Ashleigh Gomes was also prominent in the win. For the Falcons, Megan Norbury moved to the inside and clunked 11 marks to go with her 18 disposals, while Kaitlyn Roper (16 disposals, eight marks) and Katherine Bennett (16 disposals, two goals) also had an impact.

Peel Thunder snapped its winless drought with an impressive 19-point win over East Perth in a bottom two battle at Leederville Oval. The Thunder kicked four goals to two by half-time and had extended their lead to 15 points at the last change before booting five straight behinds to one to secure the four points for the first time this season,. 6.6 (42) to 3.5 (23).

Ebony Bilcich (24 disposals, six marks) was strong through midfield, while Gracie Fenton and Holly Britton were impressive on the inside and outside respectively. For the Royals, Lucy Greenwood was a star kicking two goals from 18 touches, five marks and four tackles, while midfielders Jess Verbrugge and Layla Firns were amongst the best once again.

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