THE Claremont Football Club secured its fourth WAFL Colts premiership this decade, and sixteenth overall, defeating Peel Thunder by just five points at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
Lenny Fogliani wrote his opinion-based notes on some of the best players in the game.
#1 Tyrone Thorne
The younger brother of Peel’s senior player Calvin, Tyrone was exceptional for the Thunder and would have come close to winning the Mel Whinnen Medal had the Thunder won. He finished with a team-high 22 possessions, a game-high eight tackles, recorded three inside 50s, took two marks and kicked a goal in a dazzling display. He never shirked a contest, always fought hard in the stoppages and used his class to set up plenty of attacking opportunities for the Thunder.
#2 Jackson Knight
The Mandurah Football Club product showed why he deserved to finish second in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award with another brilliant performance. He accumulated 19 possessions, took six marks, and recorded three inside 50s as he tried to spark his team to a famous victory,
#8 Zachary Rankin
The Eaton Boomers Junior was excellent off the wing for the Thunder, providing an excellent link between defence and offence. He finished with 16 possessions, six marks, six tackles and five inside 50s in a terrific performance. A highlight of his game came in the third quarter, when he was able to spear a pass onto Isiah Winder who went back and kicked the Thunder’s first goal of the game.
#11 Jarvis Pina
The Peel captain tried his best to set up attacking opportunities from the defensive half for his team, often using his speed and his precise skills to set up team-mates who were further up the field. He finished with 11 possessions, five marks, five tackles, two inside 50s and a goal. The highlight of Pina’s game came in the first quarter, when after he received a 50-metre penalty, he played on due to no-one being on the mark, and drilled through a goal.
#18 Ben Middleton
The 2019 WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker showed why he is one of the more impressive key forwards in this year’s draft pool. He was strong and powerful in the contest, his leading patterns were excellent and he was accurate in front of goal. He finished with 11 possessions, five marks, four inside 50s and five goals to arguably be his team’s most influential player. In the third quarter alone, Middleton booted three goals from five possessions and three marks. His best goal came in the second quarter when he snapped the ball through the goals from the boundary line, after taking a strong contested mark.
#19 Isiah Winder
The bottom-aged prospect showed why he finished in the top 10 of the Jack Clarke Medal with a sizzling performance. He finished with 10 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and a goal. The highlight of his game came in the second quarter when he stepped his way around an opponent before he snapped through his second goal.
#21 Jaxon Egan
The Harvey Bulls Junior was excellent for the Thunder, playing as a half-forward flanker. Egan produced a host of scoring opportunities for the Thunder, including one where he produced a bullet-pass onto the chest of Ben Middleton in the third quarter. Egan finished with 12 possessions, six marks, four tackles and a long-range goal.
#27 Jack Sears
Playing off a wing, Sears was excellent as the link-up player between defence and offence. He finished with 15 possessions, six marks, and six inside 50s, often running hard to the right spots to be a bail out kick for his defenders. His class with ball in hand was also crucial in setting up his teammates with scoring opportunities.
#3 Leno Thomas
The hero for Claremont, Thomas was the player who produced the goal-saving smother on Jon Ietto which ultimately sealed victory for the Tigers. He accumulated 14 possessions and took four marks, playing as an intercepting and rebounding defender. His precise skills coming out of the defensive half were a real feature of his game, as he was able to set up several attacking opportunities for the Tigers.
#5 Ronin O’Connor
The Claremont captain was a bull in the midfield for the Tigers, often throwing his weight around to win the contested possessions and clearances for his team. He finished with 17 possessions and three inside 50s in a brilliant captain’s performance. His attack on the ball and the man were a real feature of his game.
#12 Joel Western
The bottom-aged Fremantle Next Generation Academy member showed why he is one of the leading prospects from Western Australia for next year’s AFL Draft. He accumulated 23 possessions, and laid six tackles, often using his speed and skill to break Peel’s defensive zones.
#14 Jack Cooley
A deserving winner of the Mel Whinnen Medal, Cooley was simply phenomenal for the Tigers, often powering his way through the contest to get the ball out to his outside midfielders. He finished with 33 possessions (18 of which were contested), won 14 clearances, laid seven tackles, recorded seven inside 50s, and took five marks in a very impressive performance.
#16 Anthony Davis
The Borden product was another hero for the Tigers, being the player who kicked the goal that put the Tigers in front with just minutes remaining. In that passage of play his ability to read the play and intercept Peel’s attempted rebounding 50 was excellent and his finish in front of goal was class. He finished with 15 possessions, four inside 50s and three marks.
#22 Jye Clark
The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan, Jye was extremely brave through injury. He finished with 15 possessions, four tackles, four inside 50s and a goal. The highlight of his game came in the final term when he gathered the ball out of a pack and bounced it through for a goal, which at the time brought Claremont to within one point.
#25 Callum Jamieson
In a sensational performance, the North Beach Junior showed why he was a deserving recipient of a National Combine invitation. He finished with 12 possessions, 34 hitouts, and four marks to be the best ruckman on the ground. What was really impressive about Jamieson’s performance was when it looked like he went down with a shoulder injury in the last term, he continued to play at a high standard despite being in some discomfort.
#38 Isaiah Butters
The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy member showed why the Dockers rate him so highly with a sublime performance in the Grand Final. He finished with just seven possessions but booted four goals to be the most dangerous forward on the ground for the Tigers. The highlights of his game came in the first quarter – the first one was when he took a sensational pack mark in the twelfth minute of the first term, and the second one was when he cleanly gathered a “chaos” ball after it ripped through several other players before snapping through his second goal.