AFL Round 23 – Santa Kilda v Fremantle: From Santa Monica with love

Santa Monica and the Saints

 

My first Almanac piece was written in San Francisco, sitting alone in my room, listening on the computer to the radio, and hearing a Saints win against Richmond on the last game of the season 2010.  Tonight I can truly say I have topped that experience.  Tonight, from my Santa Monica hotel room, I have the AFL live screening of the game, worth $25 for the last round, to watch the most unexpected and extraordinary game of football.  And I wasn’t alone.  I was sms-ing Glen Brownstein in Louisville, Kentucky as he put his sports paper to bed for the night and could finally concentrate on our beloved Saints.  I had Rina sms-ing on skype and talking to her at half time.  As the east coast is so many hours behind, my brother was asleep during this game.

Rina, Glenn and I were all there at the game with all our hearts, yet none of us stepped a foot into the Dome.  I know my Uncle Bob and Gary will have been enjoying this game as much as we have.  We have shared an unbelievable game and an unbelievable night in St.Kilda history.

I didn’t even think we’d win.  I didn’t know that Freo were playing all their young ones tonight.  I didn’t know that our young and old players would play out of their skins.  That legends would be made. That stories will be forever told about Kosi’s goal/point that will always be a goal for us, or all his goal assists.  Of Blakey’s goal, and Milne’s two, and of the love from all the crowd and all the team mates.  That we’d get the highest possessions ever with over 500.  That Steven and Montagna would get the highest possessions, ever.

I missed the first two goals, I don’t even know if Lenny got the first or Lee, but I was there for the rest, for Ledger and Ross bringing the Saints score to 28-0 at the end of the first quarter.  Hello, where was the Freo defence…I was happy it was on holiday over here with me, but 28-0.  And I haven’t been drinking alcohol or anything.

Desperate, attacking, manic football from the Saints saw Rooey goal, Lee then Lenny.  Lenny is crunching the opposition with tackles that will break any man’s spirit.  He is out of control.  The commentators talk about 3 Toms: Curren, Lee, and Ledger.  Isn’t there a Tom Hickey too?  And a Tom Simpkin?   We are the 5 Tom and the Tom Toms are coming.  Steven goals, it is 46-0.  Freo disappoint with a point but they are picking up.  Another point to Freo, and Lee puts Saints 50 ahead again.  Finally, Hannath goals, much to the disappointment of the Saints.  Then they get another point, and then the wonderful new Freo player Simpson scores a magnificent goal and I worry about a Freo comeback.  Then Taberner gets one too.  Riewoldt stops the rot, but de Boer goals.  At half time, the scores are Saints 9.6 60 to Freo 4.3 27.

Rina and I catch up, we miss each other and life is not the same when I am away.  We know we are now in this together.  Glen is finishing up with his work, counting down until he can concentrate on what is really important in life.

Third quarter starts a little shakily, and we Sainters, we know how to worry and think the worse.  Freo are settling, we are getting wobbly.  Lee scores a point, are we losing accuracy.  Come on boys, keep it up.  Another point to Freo, then Pavlich goals.  They’re coming.   They’re coming, but Montagna who is playing a mighty game, says, not yet boys and scores a goal back.  Milne misses for a point before McEvoy joins in the fun and puts us further ahead again.  Milne disappoints himself and us for another behind.  The crowd are going wild.  Kosi is coming on with 4 minutes left in the quarter.  Who has gone off?  My true love Roberton.  Rest well Roberton.  We will see you next year.

End of the quarter sees the Saints 12.9 81 to Freo 5.5 35.

It becomes the funniest and loveliest game ever, it is like love is all around because everyone is trying to get Kosi to goal.  He misses after a spectacular pass from Rooey.  Curren, and then Montagna, both goal.  No misses for them.  Kosi gets another chance, misses.  And then, finally, a terrific mark, what looks to be a splendid goal, and the players pile on top of Kosi and we are all full of love and the joy of the occasion when the umpires decided that the ball hit the post, it is reviewed, and is judged a point.  NOOOOOOOO.  It will forever be a goal in our minds, like the one that one Geelong claimed for Tom Hawkins in the 2009 Grand Final win over our boys.  A Saints myth has been born on this night of Kosi’s last goal in his 200 game.  Kosi teases us all with yet another fantastic mark but misses for a point.  Come on History, give us a break.  At least Milne gets another, with 3.53 seconds to go.  And then life is splendid when Blakey is bought forward and is passed a kick and puts it beautifully through the middle.  This is Saints heaven.  This is what our pained hearts in 2013 have yearned for.  Blake puts it through for a behind in the final seconds and it is all over, all done.  The final score:  Saints 16.16 112, Freo 6.5.41.

This game has put joy and fun back into footy for us Sainters, and definitely for our boys.  This will be a game that will put a smile on our faces forever.  We will talk about this crazy game and the unlikeliest victory until we see the reality of next year.  What tonight has rekindled for Saints is hope, that cheeky little monkey that plays with our souls.  Our new players were wonderful, our older players like Montagna and Dal Santo and Rooey were doing so well.  Gilbert has improved since he’s returned.  Dempster, Ray, Schneids, Armitage, Geary.  Our wonderful brave boys.  They are back and they have given us something to smile about for the summer.  Rest well boys.  And thank you for tonight.

 

Yvette Wroby

Santa Monica

12.36am on Saturday 31st August 2013

 

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.

Comments

  1. “What tonight has rekindled for Saints is hope, that cheeky little monkey that plays with our souls.”

    Well done Saints! No points, no cup on offer, but talk about playing for something. This game is the 2013 high point, and an antidote to the romancelessness that Lyon would imbue in Football were it left up to people like him.

    Great write up Yvette. Put this one in the book.

  2. Guru Gus - Singapore says:

    I think the last quarter of Saints – Freo was as emotional a quarter of footy since the 1997 Prelim when the Saints knocked off North to make their first GF in 26 years.

    A wonderful and satisfying conclusion to 3 remarkable careers. Well done to the Club for making Saturday a true celebration of what it means to be a Saint.

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