WAFL: Tigers make it two in a row

Forlorn East Fremantle players watch the presentation.

Former Docker and Pie Paul Medhurst wins an elusive flag.

Claremont coach Marc Webb with his victorious players.

Claremont coach Marc Webb and acting captain Luke Blackwell.

To Claremont goes the spoils.

By Les Everett

CLAREMONT are the 2012 WAFL premiers.

The Tigers kicked 8.6 to 1.1 in the first quarter and that appeared to be that.

However, inspired by ruckman Jonathon Griffin, who seems to simply do whatever job he’s asked to do anywhere, East Fremantle pushed and shoved and ran themselves back into the game and got within a point about a minute into the last quarter.

It was a funny sort of a game on many fronts. Claremont’s big goal kickers, Tom Lee, who hurt himself early, and Chad Jones kicked a only a goal each but the Tigers found lots of others ready to find to the big opening.

One funny sidelight was Paul Medhurst. The former Docker and Magpie was no certainty to play in this game with his average form leading to some suggestions he could be dropped for the game. He started on the bench and as he ran onto the ground was confronted by Shark Jayden Schofield who, as they say, ‘gave him a hard time’. Medhurst kicked a goal shortly afterwards and I noted that he didn’t take the opportunity to remind Schofield. By the end of the game Medhurst had kicked six goals, set up others and was awarded the Simpson Medal as the best player afield.

Claremont’s early dominance came from Sandover Medal winner Kane Mitchell, who finished with three goals, Luke Blackwell, Ian Richardson,(three  goals) and Rory Walton, who had a win at last in his fifth grand final, and they were also important as the Tigers steadied under pressure in the last quarter. Defender Aaron Holt, veteran David Crawford and the classy Andrew Foster also did well.

Griffin kicked East Fremantle’s first three goals, one from 80 metres, and was superb all day, fellow big man Robert Young kicked three goals and was inspirational in the fight back, Sean Henson and Jacob Brennan showed a willingness to run, Sam Menegola did some good things and defenders Steven Dodd and Mitchell Brown did their jobs.

The crowd was 18,612 – that’s the downside to having Claremont in the grand final.

For coach Marc Webb in was a premiership in his first year after four flags as a player for Subiaco.

East Fremantle also played in the reserves grand final, losing to Claremont and the colts where they lost South Fremantle. As usual there was outstanding talent on display in the colts grand final. South’s Marvin Warrell won the Mel Whinnen as best on ground and Sam Rundle and Mason Shaw each kicked five goals while Marco Paparone was outstanding for the Sharks – note those names.

About Les Everett

A Footy Almanac veteran, Les Everett is the author of Gravel Rash: 100 Years of Goldfields Football and Fremantle Dockers: An Illustrated History. He is the footyalmanac.com WAFL correspondent and uses the money he makes from that role to pay for his expensive websites australianrules.com.au and talkingfrankie.com and fund the extravagant Vin Maskell at scoreboardpressure.com


  1. Upwards 7 Onwards. It’s all part of the nation-wide Tiger Renaissance. You watch Glenelg move from here too. And Richmond & Balmain.

  2. Richmond fans would love the Claremont song…

    “Oh we’re from Tigerland… blah blah blah blah…

    “In any weather….

    “Tigers of old….

    “Oh we’re from Tiger…. YELLOW AND BLUE we’re from Tigerland.

  3. I reckon the Fox Footy Channel missed an opportunity on Sunday, with WAFL & VFL (and TAC Cup) GF’s and no AFL games. Could have very easily done something like:
    11am: TAC Cup (Oakleigh-Gippsland, was a 1-pt game)
    1:30pm: VFL
    4:30pm EST / 2:30pm WST: WAFL

    Might be slower and less athletic footy than we’re used to seeing at the top level, but no less desperate when a flag is at stake, and wouldn’t hurt to give these games a bit of national profile (in addition to being on the ABC within their own respective states).

  4. Might happen next year when the state leagues are on Channel 9 or one of its off-shoots.

    By the way the Claremont player with long hair is Kane Mitchell, winner of the 2012 Sandover Medal. Word is he’s too small, not a good enough kick by foot (thanks BT), not good enough this, not enough that…. like Michael Barlow wasn’t.

  5. Peter Fuller says

    You would have taken great delight from the double page spread in the sports section of my local paper, which recorded the following results in Grand Finals:
    Balwyn Tigers d. Vermont Eagles – Eastern Football League;
    Woori Yallock Tigers d. Gembrook-Cockatoo Brookers (?) – Yarra Valley-Mountain Districts League.
    Both Tiger teams were underdogs, Balwyn had come from the elimination final in a final five comp, winning four finals on successive Saturdays; Woori Yallock reversed a flogging by Gembrook-Cockatoo in the 2nd semi.

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