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Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 4:41 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle couldn’t quite hold on against Claremont at Fremantle Community Bank Oval but not without a huge performance from Jake Florenca and plenty of others stepping up to deliver impressive performances.

The rivalry has produced some remarkable games between the Bulldogs and Tigers in recent years, with most of them taking place at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

That included the qualifying and preliminary finals of 2021, and the second semi-final and Grand Final of 2020.

South Fremantle won the last three of those narrowly so when Claremont arrived on Saturday afternoon in the battle of undefeated teams, they were looking to avoid another heartbreaking trip to the port.

South Fremantle was missing Tom Blechynden, Brandon Donaldson, Blake Schlensog, Zac Dent, Caleb Datson and Toby McQuilkin while Claremont was able to regain a host of stars who missed last week's win over Subiaco through COVID protocols.

With both teams having won their opening two matches of 2022, it always shaped as another fascinating match up and it was Claremont who opened up a handy gap during the second quarter, but South Fremantle responded and by three quarter-time led by seven points.

However, the Tigers dominated the last quarter to come away with the 10.10 (70) to 8.11 (59) victory to become the last remaining undefeated team for the 2022 season after three rounds.

The only multiple goal scorer in the game for South Fremantle was Zac Strom with two to go with 11 possessions and seven marks.

Jake Florenca produced another standout performance in the midfield for the Bulldogs to rack up 38 possessions to go with 12 tackles, six marks and a goal.

Chad Pearson also racked up another 26 disposals for South Fremantle, Haiden Schloithe 24, Jarrad Doney 24, Brendon Ah Chee 17 and Aiden Hall 17 while Noah Strom was tremendous defensively holding Timm House to one goal.

Claremont started well at a ground they've suffered more pain at in recent times than they'd like to remember. Jack Buller kicked the first goal of the game but it was goal for goal throughout the opening term.

Zac Strom responded for South Fremantle before Kieran Gowdie kicked truly for Claremont and soon after Mason Shaw got the Bulldogs' second of the game. Claremont went into three quarter-time leading by four points following a late goal from Buller to give him two in the opening term.

Timm House then got away briefly from Noah Strom for a goal to start the second quarter. Bailey Rogers and Ben Elliott then did the same and suddenly the Tigers were out to a 22-point lead at the 12-minute mark of the second quarter.

South Fremantle had to respond and they were able to start with Zac Strom's second of the first half. Then after Rogers kicked a second for Claremont, the Bulldogs finished the half with goals to Jake Florenca and nick Suban to be within seven points at half-time.

Jimmy Miller then started the second half with a stunning effort off the group and scores were soon tied before Rogers restored the lead for the Tigers with his third of the day.

The Bulldogs were able to pick up some momentum the rest of the quarter, though, with goals to Haiden Schloithe and Jarrad Doney to see the home side take a seven-point advantage into the three quarter-time break.

Hamish Free kicked a behind to start the last quarter for South Fremantle, but it was all Claremont from there as they had the last nine scoring shots and while only two of them were goals, it turned out to be enough for the 10.10 (70) to 8.11 (59) win.

The day started at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with South Fremantle's colts beating Claremont 13.9 (87) to 7.15 (57).

Chase Bourne and Ed Graham kicked three goals each for South Fremantle with Seth Connor and Michael Camarda adding two each.

Connor also amassed 28 possessions for the Bulldogs, Christian Wilson 26, Roan O'Hehir 24, Jaren Carr 22, Jordan Rodriguez 19 and Bourne 18.

It was tough going for South Fremantle's reserves, meanwhile, with Claremont winning 13.12 (90) to 1.2 (8). South Fremantle's goal came from Ben Pears while Trent Newton finished with 24 disposals, Jaxon Bellchambers 19, George Wessels 18 and Kye Barker 17.


SOUTH FREMANTLE        2.4    5.7    8.10    8.11 (59)
CLAREMONT            3.2    7.2    8.3    10.10 (70)

SOUTH FREMANTLE: Goals – Z Strom 2; Schloithe, Florenca, Suban, Main, Shaw, Miller.
Best – Florenca, Pearson, N Strom, Schloithe, Doney, Hall.
CLAREMONT: Goals – Rogers 3; Buller 2; Lim, House, Elliott, Evans, Gowdie.
Best – Lim, Rogers, Edwards, Elliott, Hardisty, Bolton, Blight.