For Fremantle, it never rains, but it pours.

By Josh Barnstable

There’s never a dull moment when these two sides play. 2005, we saw the ‘Whispers In The Sky’ incident, where an umpire was allegedly heard saying “Now I know what it feels like to have a win” on the way back to Melbourne from Perth after Fremantle’s five point win after Justin Longmuir goaled after the siren. Then of course the next season was the ‘Sirengate’ incident where the Dockers won the match but play went on after the siren, with enough time for the Saints to draw scores level. This result was overturned a few days later. Then in 2007, Jeff Farmer was banned for an off the ball hit on Steven Baker not caught on camera, resulting in a heavy suspension, also Fraser Gehrig putting through eight goals. Nothing has happened of note since then, but that has changed after tonight. With a torrential downpour in Melbourne (nothing in Waaia!) the roof at Etihad Stadium was affected, so Worksafe had to inspect it before the AFL was given the all-clear to run the match, all the while fans were waiting outside the stadium in the lakes that had been created, while some were told to turn around and go home as the game was to be postponed. It was, for twenty minutes, the game starting at 7:30.

Adam Schneider kicked the first goal of the match before Justin Koschitzke took a great diving mark to kick the second goal. Stephen Milne stayed at the back of a pack in the goalsquare to dribble through his first of the night, and then Jason Gram kicked a good goal on the run that was set up with some impressive play through the midfield. The Dockers finally shifted the momentum and got a goal out of it through Ryan Murphy. I hope he has a good 2010 so I can stop hating him, although what he did last week didn’t help his cause. At quarter time, the Saints led by 14 points, 0.4.1 to 0.1.5.

The second quarter started and Milne snapped a good goal after playing on to take the margin out to 20 points. The Saints then kicked a super goal through some mystery player, who I later found out to be Jarryn Geary. After receiving a 50m penalty in the midfield, I saw from a pretty bad camera angle a player walking towards the goalsquare but then the coverage of the game stopped and went straight to the ads! He hadn’t even begun to start walking in to kick the goal! Bloody ridiculous, you would think Channel 7 was running the show but it was in fact a Fox Sports coverage run by Channel 10. Koschitzke reappeared in the match with a thud, taking a great one-on-two mark deep in the forward line, only to shank the kick from 30m out, not making the distance. However the Fremantle defence was even more appalling than Kosi’s kick, failing to rush it through for a behind. Rhys Stanley pounced, getting his shoelace to the ball, taking the half time lead out to 35 points, 1.6.2 to 0.1.6.

The second half begun and the small crowd is suddenly bought back to life with Super goals through Anthony Morabito and Matthew Pavlich to start the quarter, bringing the margin back to 16 points. This was short lived though as Gram kicked a good goal and Milne snapped a clever goal around his body. Michael Barlow had his moment of the night, snapping an impressive goal but the Saints ran away with it, Jarryn Geary goaling, Stanley kicking the easiest of the goals after a quick centre clearance by David Armitage, Tom Lynch marking and goaling in his first match for St Kilda and Armitage finishing off the quarter with a mark and goal. The Saints went into the final break with a comprehensive 48 point lead, 1.12.4 to 2.2.7.

The final quarter started and Schneider started it the same way he started the match, kicking a goal after a clever pass from Clint Jones. Milne kicked his fourth of the match, before Roger Hayden received from Pavlich and snapped a pearler from near the boundary line. Gram finally got his chance at a Super goal, and he didn’t disappoint with a long bomb from just outside 50, followed by an unselfish Milne giving off to Andrew McQualter who ran into an open goal to put the icing on the cake, St Kilda running out 70 point victors, 2.15.7.115 to 2.3.9.45.

It’s all set up for a ripping game. Western Bulldogs v St Kilda on a Saturday night, the most unsuccessful sides in VFL/AFL history battling it out for Pre-Season honours. I predict these two will be going head to head in another Grand Final in six months time.

Footnote: The combined score of the Fremantle Dockers in the past two matches against St Kilda has been 7.13.55, not including Super goals. There’s never a dull moment when these two sides play.

St Kilda 0.4.1—1.6.2—1.12.4—2.15.7.115

Fremantle 0.1.5—0.1.6—2.2.7—2.3.9.45

Goalkickers:

Super goals: Geary, Gram, Morabito, Pavlich

St Kilda-Milne 4, Gram 2, Schneider 2, Stanley 2, Armitage, Lynch, Koschitzke, McQualter, Geary

Fremantle-Barlow, Hayden, Murphy

Best:

St Kilda-Jones, Armitage, Gilbert, Milne, Gram, Schneider, McQualter, Geary, McEvoy

Fremantle-Tarrant, Bradley, Silvagni

Crowd:

5,241 at Etihad Stadium

Votes:

3: Clint Jones (ST)

2: David Armitage (ST)

1: Sam Gilbert (ST)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.

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