AFLM Round 5 – St Kilda v Geelong: In..In..In..Win for the Girls…In..In..In..Out for the Boys

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St Kilda Southern Academy v Australian Defence Forces

St Kilda  versus Geelong

3.20pm, Sunday 23 April

Etihad Stadium

Yvette Wroby



Footy started early with a curtain raiser of St Kilda Southern Academy v Australian Defence Force: the teams were playing for the Anzac Challenge Cup. The Women’s game started with an Anzac Day service and a minute’s silence, and I was tearful from the start.  Women on the big stage. St Kilda’s partnership with Soldier On which supports soldiers in the long term. And a ferocious game of footy.


The Southern Academy was set up from the best of the undrafted women’s talent from the south of the city, and has St Kilda’s Bayside catchment well represented.  With the push to join the AFLW in 2018, the Club opened their facilities to AFL Victoria Women’s Southern Open-Age Academy for training since October 2016. This game is a reward for the hard work of the group of girls and women who took up this opportunity.  The Saints and the girls want to help their chances of being drafted, and for St Kilda Footy Club, to be drafted as Saints as early as possible.


Lauren Mullane from the ADF goaled first, very quick and skilful.  Saints get one back through Matilda Arthur and her family cheer loudly from nearby.  The early birds to this game get to watch the skills and effort. Saints are a point behind in the first short quarter.


Come the second, Saint Kelly Thompson gets a free in from of goals and nails it.  There are several Saints misses and Kimberely Cunico seems to be everywhere for the red, white and black. Saints are ahead at half time.


Uncle Bob has joined me at our regular seats, and Cousin Gary comes soon after.  We are enjoying this and once again ask, why this doesn’t happen all the time?


Third quarter brings scrappy play before Kristy Stratton kicks the Saints ahead a little further, and the girls manage to keep the ball in the attacking zone. Clare Lawton follows up good forward movement by the ADF and goals and there’s not much in it for the last quarter.


Madeline Jones for the Saints kicks the only major before some scrappy behinds for both teams.  The girls all gather in the middle in the circle before the Cup is presented.
Keep up the pressure on the AFL, St Kilda.  Those coming to this game enjoyed the pregame efforts.


St Kilda 4.2.26 ADF 2.3.15


A Saints win.  Should have left the game then and there.


We were joined by Rina and her mate Phil. We’d all started Social Work together back in the day.  They finished straight through, I took the longer, more complex route 5 years later. Phil has always been a Geelong man, from a family of Geelong people.  But lately, he’s been leaning towards the Saints.  He’s lived in the area for years and feels torn.  He is a little both ways these days.


The boys game started with intent too, the ball pinging back and forward between two good defence lines. Tim Membrey marks and gives the Saints their first major. Jimmy Webster hands the ball over in the last line of defence to make it too easy for Nakia Cuckatoo to goal.


The Saints crowd seem to love booing Joel Selwood.  They wouldn’t if he played for us. Seb Ross scores a beautiful goal on the run before Aaron Black replies.  It’s going to be a goal for goal game. Saints are ahead until George Horlin-Smith changes it.  I notice the enormous flags in Gelong’s Cheer Squad and have flag envy – for premierships and the big blue things they are waving. Jordan Murdock goals next and we start feeling deflated.  It’s such hard work playing Geelong.  They know how to win.  Harry Taylor goals to prove his point to me.  They have kicked 4 goals in 4 minutes.  Darren Minchington and ever-green Nick Riewoldt fight back, Darren from quick work off the ground and Nick from a free.  We’ll take it.


When a Saint misses a mark, the ball speeds up to Geelong’s forwards and Daniel Menzel gives us the full punishment.  They are two goals ahead at the end of the quarter, and we are in it.  Just.


Saints have a right to be nervous around the Cats. The noisy Saints supporters around us may turn Phil back into a full-time Cat supporter.  I cannot believe the heat of the game and especially in the crowd.  Is the booing Selwood-envy?


Jack Steven is back and he is so good, getting it forward and Minchington scores another.


St Kilda Cheer Squad and those around us are cheering in unison.  There are simplified chants which enables everyone to join in.


We make more noise when Mav Weller goals from another Jack Steven’s assist. Scores are tied and so is my stomach. What is it about these two teams and draws and close contests.


We are ahead when Blake Acres goals but it lasts only moments. Geelong answer through Darcy Lang.  Then the woes begin.  From a free in front of goal, Weller hits the post. It seems to deflate both players and supporters. You can feel the atmosphere change. Scores are level again.


Geelong continue to attack and we continue to miss. But we are ahead by a point.  Josh Bruce gets a free in front of goal and it’s the Cats fans turn to boo.  But they cheer as he misses it and we are not happy, Jane.


Geelong don’t miss a thing as they stream forward and Andrew Mackie puts the Cats ahead, again. Jack Newnes replies just before half time. St Kilda are 2 points ahead.


Chicken soup doesn’t heal my soul today.  My new thermos is now empty and I am full, but the dread of playing Geelong is still there. Do I have PTGGFFS (post traumatic Geelong Grand Final Footy Stress?)


This condition is confirmed as Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield pick up their games in the third quarter. I suffer even though Steven kicks the first for the Saints, and Luke Dunstan kicks another and we’re 14 points ahead.  But as Tweety Bird says, “I tawt I taw a puddy tat” and Selwood, then Menzel goal. Boom.  The moment Steven goes off the ground, Geelong pounced. Our players are starting to get hurt – Billy Longer, nose. Nick goals from 45 metres in front, from solid Dylan Roberton work.  Roberton is so good in defence and attacking on the wing.


We are happy when Minchington follows suit and from great work from Bruce, Montagna, and Billings, goals.


We are right to be worried about the ‘puddy tat’.  Lang kicks the last for the quarter, and Saints are ahead by 6.


Fourth quarter was awful for Saints, that ‘puddy tat’ swallowed us whole. Those huge flags didn’t stop waving. Dangerfield, Cockatoo, (Membrey with our last goal and Riewoldt hurts his knee again), Dangerfield again, Cockatoo having a party, Mitch Duncan, Tom Hawkins twice and Cameron Guthrie finishes us off.  A seven goal to one last quarter.


Shmushed. Geelong sing happily, the grumpy Saints around us disperse, and Uncle Bob and my guests depart – but Gary and I get to kick the footy around with the masses, forgetting the scoreboard and those Puddy Cats for a little while at least.



Geelong           6.1       8.3       11.8     19.12            (126)

St Kilda           4.1       8.5       12.7     13.10            (88)


GOALS Geelong: Black 2, Lng 2, Menzel 2, Cockatoo 2, Dangerfield 2, T Hawkins 2, Mackie, Guthrie, Horlin-Smith, Murdoch, Selwood, Duncan.
St Kilda: Minchington 3, Membrey 2, Acres, Bruce, Newnes, Steven, Dunstan, Weller, Riewoldt, Ross.


BEST    Geelong: Selwood, Horlin-Smith, Tuohy
St Kilda: Ross, Brown, Steven, Roberton, Minchington


UMPIRES          Ryan, Dalgleish, Jeffrey.       CROWD 33,884


OUR VOTES      Selwood (Geel) 3, Horlin-Smith (Geel) 2, Ross(St K) 1.








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.

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