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Peel Thunder have suffered a hard fought defeat to Claremont by 19 points at Claremont Oval on Saturday.
The Tigers have won by at least 40 points in each of their three previous wins this season, but Peel challenged them all day, mounting comeback after comeback until the Tigers eventually fought their way to a 12.8 (80) to 9.7 (61) win.
Claremont dominated around the ground for most of the day as they gathered 55 more disposals and went inside forward 50 15 more times than Peel, with midfielder Stefan Giro leading the way for the Thunder with 22 touches for the day.
Speaking after the match, Giro complemented the Tigers midfield on their ferocity around the ball, especially in the first half.
“They put a lot of pressure on us mids,” he said.
“We had to try and run defensively and they had a lot of good mids in there, so next time we have got to make sure we are defending better.”
Claremont leapt out of the blocks in the first term, getting out to a healthy 24-point lead at quarter time as they ran circles around the young Peel side.
The team lifted in the second term, however, with a goal from Jason Carter bringing the margin back to 12 points midway through the second term before Claremont steadied either side of the main break, taking a 30-point lead into the final change.
Scott Jones had yet another impressive day in the middle, amassing 33 hit-outs. Giro commended the ruck’s efforts on a tough day for the young midfield.
“For him to come and do the job for us was good,” he said.
“He’s been really putting his hand up so if he can keep repeating and keep doing what he’s doing, I’m sure he will get his time soon.”
The Thunder mounted a comeback and pushed hard in the final term, getting to within 11 points as they kicked three early goals. Their pressure continued to intensify as the minutes wore down, but it was too little too late as Claremont steadied again late to take the four points.