WAFL Round 10 Wrap
Both matches as part of round ten of the WAFL season proved to be nail biters, with Claremont and East Perth recording narrow wins over Peel Thunder and South Fremantle respectively.
Jack Buller was the hero for Claremont in 91.3 Sport FM's broadcast game between the Tigers and Peel Thunder at Revo Fitness Stadium, the home side overcoming a 12 point deficit at the 24 minute mark of the final term to snatch a 14.6 (90) to 12.11 (83) triumph.
Buller kicked two of his four majors for the day in time on of the final term, Jake Patmore's goal between those two majors enough to put the Tigers in front.
Peel had largely outplayed Claremont for most of the contest, despite being forced to make eight changes due to Fremantle's heavy injury toll.
Cam Shepherd's side kicked the first two majors before Claremont found their mojo late in the opening term, kicking five unanswered goals either side of quarter time to lead by 16 points halfway through the quarter.
Peel then regained the momentum in a game of fluctuating scoring swings, kicking the final three goals of the half with young forwards Lachlan Cullen and Roy George (his first career goal on debut) hitting the scoreboard.
Both teams had a share of the lead in the third stanza but the Thunder pulled away once more to lead by 21 points, playing an impressive game with their season on the line.
Tigers coach Ash Prescott sent swingman Anton Hamp forward with immediate effect, kicking a late goal before Jye Bolton booted a long bomb that left the margin at ten points with a quarter to play.
In one of the games of the season to date both sides again traded goals, the crowd at fever pitch as the sun began to set on a beautiful winter's day.
When George booted his second major in time on of the final term Peel led by 12 points and looked likely winners, before Jake Patmore snapped a behind to bring the margin under two straight kicks.
Buller converted a tough set shot from 45 metres to bring the margin under a goal, Patmore scrounging a snap from the top of the square to put his side in front.
Young forward Buller, in just his ninth game of WAFL football was the recipient of gut running from Bailey Rogers, using his body to outmark Will Schofield and slot the match winner from 20 metres.
Claremont escaped with their eighth win of the season to go top of the ladder, having played one more game than Subiaco (7-1) who had the bye.
Jye Bolton produced another best on ground performance for Claremont to continue his remarkable run of form with another 35 possessions, nine inside 50s, four marks, four tackles and a goal.
Bailey Rogers racked up another 29 disposals for the Tigers, Lachlan Martinis 25, Ryan Lim 22, Jake Patmore 19 and Jared Hardisty 18 to go with nine tackles.
Luke Valente worked hard against the star-studded Claremont midfield for the Thunder with 26 possessions, six marks and five tackles.
Ben Hancock also finished with 20 disposals and six tackles for Peel while Jarvis Pina had 20 touches, Jackson Merrett 19, Michael Randall 18 and ruckman Lloyd Meek 17 to go with 37 hit outs and three tackles.
The result leaves Peel at 3-6 and facing an uphill battle to play finals in season 2021, suffering a second successive loss by a single figure margin.
East Perth finally found a way to win against South Fremantle, prevailing 8.11 (59) to 8.6 (54) in one of the upsets of the season at Leederville Oval.
The win was just the Royals second of the season, easing some of the pressure on coach Jeremy Barnard heading in to their mid-season bye.
The win was set up by a strong opening in the first quarter, the home side kicking four goals to two to open up a lead they would hold on to for the majority of the contest.
Forwards Jayden Magro and Eddie Simpson were looking dangerous in attack while Scott Jones and Ajang Ajang were winning their ruck battle with Brock Higgins, who failed to play on after half time due to a shoulder injury against his former club.
Haiden Schloithe wasn't able to have any impact on the game as he was tagged heavily by Christian Ameduri, Jacob Dragovich leading the way in midfield in his 100th WAFL match.
Leading by eight points at half time the Royals squandered opportunities in the third term, registering 0.6 to Souths 1.0 as the margin remained eight at the final break.
With Higgins sidelined Jimmy Miller was forced in to the ruck for the Bulldogs, taking a tall option out of their forward line with Mason Shaw unable to impact the contest offensively.
Jayden Magro's lethal left boot and then a goal from a relay free-kick to Aidan Lynch proved enough in the last quarter for East Perth to hold out a South Fremantle team that threw everything at them.
Nick Suban had a chance to draw the match late with a free kick set shot from 55 metres, his kick thudding in to the base of the right goalpost in what proved to be the final scoring shot of a low scoring but absorbing contest.
Angus Scott racked up another 26 possessions and seven marks on the wing for East Perth while Angus Schumacher fought hard in the midfield for 23 disposals, six tackles and five marks.
Shayne Hill was tremendous with 23 possessions, 10 tackles, eight marks and seven inside-50 entries while Kye Willcocks finished with 23 touches, Harley Sparks 23, Rohan Kerr 22 and Aidan Lynch 18.
The East Perth back-line stood tall led by Brad Fullgrabe holding Bernie Naylor Medallist Shaw to five kicks and one behind, Simpson and Magro each with three goals at the other end.
The result was a fitting one for East Perth in stalwart Nathan Blee's 150th game, the utility having 25 disposals to have a telling impact on the contest.
Fellow milestone man Dragovich had 28 touches for the Bulldogs, while defenders Chad Person (29) and Toby McQuilkin (16 and 10 marks) held up resolutely in a narrow loss.
Brandon Donaldson was his side's most impactful player with 20 disposals and four goals.
Suban and skipper Dylan Main (10 disposals each) joined Schloithe (9) in having quiet outings for the reigning premiers, who suffered their third loss of a stuttering premiership defence.
Claremont now occupy top spot after 10 rounds followed by Subiaco, South Fremantle, Swan Districts and West Perth, Perth sitting in sixth spot followed by Peel Thunder (3-6), East Fremantle (3-5), East Perth (2-7) and West Coast (0-8).
Round 11 sees Subiaco host West Coast, Swan Districts play West Perth and Perth clash with East Fremantle in the 91.3 Sport FM broadcast match.