General Footy Writing: You want great clashes? You’ll have to look beyond Saints and Dogs matches

This Friday evening the Dogs take on the Saints in what shapes as a potential preview to a September showdown. Maybe. The battle of these tri-colours was once an entry on the fixture that hardly set pulses racing.

Times change.

As one of the many long suffering members/supporters of one of these trophy-starved teams, here are some magical, mediocre and meaningless moments from the past 35 years.

1975 Rd 19 – George Young’s 9 goals brings down the curtain on Gary “Chooka” Merrington’s league career – StK 16.18 F’scray 5.16
1977 Rd 5 – Sides draw for only the 2nd time in 52 seasons 17.14 apiece
1978 Rd 2 – Don McKenzie commences two year tenure as coach after Billy Goggins’ departure earlier in the week. Can’t get Dogs over the line unfortunately as the Saints prevail 20.17 to 19.16
Rd 13 – Dogs kick record score as KT bags 15, Dunstan 7 and the Dogs slam on 12 at the Barkly Street end in the last quarter for a 33.15 to 16.10 shellacking.
1979 Rd 3 – Dogs first win game following the blockbuster Cowton, Moylan & Williams for Dempsey trade 16.13 to STK 15.14
1980 Rd 9 – Saints 9 goal last quarter spoils Matt Byrachevski’s debut. StK 19.15 to 15.13
1981 Rd 1 – “Athletic” Faletic debuts with 5 majors, Saints enjoy crushing win  23.19 to 16.12
1982 Rd 15 – A bag of 7 goals from Robert Mace in Barry Breen’s 300th steers the Saints home 20.11 to 18.12
1983 Rd 21 – Ian Williams’ goal late in time on caps massive last quarter comeback as Dogs rally after trailing by 39 points at final break – F’scray16.4 StK 13.16
1985 Rd 22 – Finals bound Dogs overrun by wooden spoon Saints’ scintillating 7 goal last quarter, overturning 21 point 3 qtr time deficit. Saints 12.12 Dogs 8.18
1986 Rd 1 – Plugger uses Ricky Kennedy’s head as a punching bag. Dogs 14.23  Saints 12.18
1987 Rd 19 – Lockett’s 8 brings up the first of his six centuries as the Saints sneak home 15.14 to 15.11
1988 Rd 19 – Robert Harvey plays first of his 383 games of league football on another bleak Western Oval afternoon – Dogs 19.18 Saints 9.9
1989 Rd 11- Dogs outswim Saints on a flooded VFL Park, to record a 9.8 to 7.12 win. Earlier that week saw the passing of Ayatollah Khomeini, aged 86.
1990 Rd 1 – “No merge” Dogs poll-axed by ten from Tony. StK 22.12 F’scray 11.15
1992 Rd 2 – Doug Hawkins kicks 5 goals for the first time in his illustrious career. Dogs 16.12 Saints 9.22
Rd 17 – Dogs win for the last time at Moorabbin, the Saints lose for the final occasion at their home of 28 seasons Dogs 15.7 Saints 11.18
Semi Final – 25 Possessions, 11 Marks & 5 goals from Chris Grant eliminates the Saints from season ’92 Dogs 19.5 Saints 14.6
1993 Rd 9 – Lockett goalless, Stewie Loewe boots 7. Dogs have their own goal kicking behemoth in Keenan Reynolds. His 6 goals lead Footscray to 11 goal slapping  of St Kilda– 22.11 to 11.13
1995 Rd 22 – Spuds last stand. Robert Harvey amasses 40 touches. Saints aren’t troubled after taking 64 point lead into main break, win it 20.12 to 11.12
1996 Rd 5 – Saints win for beloved son Trevor Barker on a day of tragedy for the country as the Pt Arthur massacre saddens the nation. Saints take the spoils 16.20 to 13.12
Rd 20 – Dogs get an early taste of their soon to be Princes Park home crushing St Kilda 14.11 to 8.9
1997 Rd 13 – Grant is great – 30 touches, 12 marks, 2 goals & 3 Brownlow votes later, the Dogs assume top position on the ladder with a 15.11 to 11.8 win
1998 Rd 14 – Saints replace Dogs from the top of the tree with a hard fought 12.15 to 10.12 victory at Waverley
2000 Rd 9 – Fast finishing Dogs leave Max Hugdton in tears and get home by the smallest of margins 16.9 to 16.8
2001 Rd 1 – Saints hop on board for the “ride of their lives”. St Kilda win Malcolm’s debut 16.16 to 16.11
Rd 16 – Blighty booted. Big, Bad, Barry bags eight, Thomas takes over and the Dogs cruise to 16.16 to 12.6 win
2002 Rd 12 – On a night better remembered for England being bundled from the World Cup due to a Seaman howler against Brazil, the Dogs take the points in a canter 19.19 to 13.8
2003 Rd 6 – Exchange of pleasantries between Ryan Hargrave & Heath Black highlights a 15.10 to 12.13 victory for St Kilda
2003 Rd 21 – Saints smash inept Dogs at York Park 13.17 to 3.12. Dogs equal lowest score against St Kilda (Rd 10 – 1927).
2004 Rd 12 – After dropping their first game for the season 6 days earlier in Sydney the Saints are shocked by the Dogs and go 10-2. Dogs 15.13 Saints 11.14
2006 Rd 6 – Gia cleans up Kosi. Saints clean up on scoreboard 14.8 to Dogs 12.6
2007 Rd 18 – Third stalemate in 82 years. Teams tied at 12.13.
2008 Rd 3 – Dogs trail by 37 at first break, kick 18 goals after quarter time and win going away 19.11 to 13.9
2009 Saints take the season trifecta and in doing so reach their 6th Grand Final with a tight 9.6 to 7.11 victory in the Preliminary Final in front of just under 80,000


  1. johnharms says

    You are a prophet.

    That was a shocker last night.

  2. Mic Rees says

    John #1 – Sub standard players and arenas were reasons and/or excuses for terrible football between these two sides in the 70’s & 80’s. The same can’t be said for Friday evenings stinker.

  3. Mic
    I still have fond memories of leaving Moorabbin at 3/4 time in 1983 to go home but finding the train didnt leave the station until the end of the game, so trudged back to the ground to watch the Dogs pull off a stunning comeback and Williams kick that last great goal with the late great Trevor Barker crying foul that he touched it as it went through the posts. Not sure what he was thinking as we would have won by a point instead of 6 that day…
    Also remember the 1978 blockbuster when Templeton was being paid marks that day that a guy would be dragged for dropping today…that was a funny day….
    Great article….

  4. Mic Rees says

    Chris #3

    Rd13 1978 – What was Don McKenzie doing on the field as KT lined up for his 15th ?

    Ian Williams’ sealer in the the 1983 comeback game was a mighty kick with a heavy ball.

    Glad you weren’t subjected to Friday nights “performance”. 2010 not looking like one you and I will care to remember. And the Cubs are putrid as well.

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