Written by Sandra Argese.
This year’s minor premiers have gone one step above finishing top of the ladder, winning the 2019 WAFLW Reserves Grand Final by 35 points.
Keeping South Fremantle scoreless for the entire second half, Claremont were too strong for their opponents for most of the afternoon.
Going inside 50 a staggering 15 more times than South Fremantle in the opening term, Claremont’s dominance was immediately on show – but they couldn’t quite convert on the scoreboard early on in the piece.
The Bulldogs match highlight arrived in the first quarter, when Elle Sanders intercepted the ball in the centre of the ground to not only notch up her side’s first inside 50, but the opening goal for the game – despite Claremont having entered their attacking 50 nine times already.
The red and white’s strong intercept marking and ability to clear the ball from defensive 50 held the Tigers to a single goal before the first break.
With scores tied up at 6 a piece and the free kick count evenly balanced (five to Claremont and four to South Fremantle), things were looking incredibly even – but this quickly changed.
Amy Smeding benefitted from a 50m penalty to score Claremont’s second goal in a row, but South instantly responded with a goal from Hannah Barkell. Claremont responded with the next two goals to find themselves up at 15 points at the main break.
Running amock inside 50, Claremont banged on another three goals in the third term to ultimately seal the premiership.
hile the Bulldogs continued to fight hard, Claremont’s run, forward pressure, tackling grit and efficient ball movement saw them outmuscle their opponents all afternoon, running out 35 point winners and premiership heroes.
Claremont’s Isabella Lewis was awarded the most valuable player award. Captains Lindsey Alana Kenyon and Misty Trimboli accepted the premiership cup, alongside coach Rebecca Phoenix.
Phoenix labelled her squad as ‘resilient’ who had worked hard all season to come through various ‘ups and downs.’
QUARTER BY QUARTER
Claremont: 1.0 (6) 4.3 (27) 7.3 (45) 7.5 (47)
South Fremantle: 1.0 (6) 2.0 (12) 2.0 (12) 2.0 (12)