NAB Cup Semi: St Kilda and hailstorm wreak havoc on an unusual Melbourne day

By Damian Watson

Labour Day weekend was designed to honour those who undertake work and contribute to society with a reward of three days relaxation, although this Saturday was anything but.

A significant hailstorm or using footy terminology – Waverley Park weather, hit Melbourne in the early afternoon causing chaos in all quadrants of the city. The CBD was under water, both Flemington and Visy Park were blanketed by hail and the local Bunnings Warehouse was dotted with hailstones resembling the size of tennis balls, smashed windscreens and people scratching heads struggling to comprehend this occurrence.

As part of the TV Rights deal Channel 10 are showing a delayed telecast of the Fox Sports broadcast and I tune in at 8:30 to assess the situation. The 5000 odd spectators present are allowed in however the Medallion Club is a mess and I knew our decision was justified. The Saints victories over the course of this competition have been as unconvincing as a Bill Clinton apology and they have a point to prove despite missing vital players. The Dockers are striving to enter the first Grand Final in their brief history with a home final ensuing if they prove victorious tonight.

From the opening bounce St Kilda’s quick clearance and entry into the forward 50 results in the opening goal to small forward Adam Schneider. In the early minutes it is apparent that Fremantle are using the man on man method of play only to find that the Saints midfield are too powerful and precise in their transition of play up the ground leading to a Koschitzke goal. The Saints unit are performing with ease as Gram continues the clinic, sprinting onto a loose ball a kicks a ‘sausage roll’ from 30 metres out. The Dockers in contrast are as uncoordinated as Jason Dunstall’s movement down a staircase as they fumble under pressure and fail to punish on the scoreboard. Young Docker Ryan Murphy is the exception, threading the Dockers first from just inside the arc. The Dockers are now beginning to lift their possession rate but still trail by 14 points at the first change.

The Saints place the foot on the accelerator once again as Milne creeps downfield to crumb the pack and boot a goal from point blank range. The St Kilda midfield is using the switch effectively and young players such as Clinton Jones and Jarryn Geary are not only wresting control from their own opponents, they are finding space and picking up disposals at will. A Koschitzke shank from close range unintentionally provides a goal for Rhys Stanley and the Saints are on cruise control. The defence are holding the front position with players double teaming Pavlich and forcing the Dockers to shoot from long range. At the major break the Saints hold a 35 point advantage.

The Dockers enter the field in the second half breathing fire, adding lightning pace within their movement and they obtain a ferocious approach to the contest. Promising recruit Anthony Morabito kicks a classy super goal on the run and Pavlich follows, sinking a monster super goal after opting to lead up the ground. However a champion side of 22 have the ability to erase the hopes of the opposition and the Saints begin their assault as Jason Gram boots a vital goal dribbling the footy through the big sticks following a deplorable Freo turnover and the margin is back out to 23 points. Stevie Milne continues his impressive pre-season form, evading the lurching defenders to kick an inspirational goal. Michael Barlow provides brief resistance for Fremantle as he snaps through a team-lifter. The exchange of phenomenal goals continues as Geary maintains the buffer using the old-fashioned drop kick. The Saints now have a firm control over the match as youngsters Stanley, Lynch and Armitage extend the margin to 8 goals by the final break.

In the final term the Saints continue to lift the intensity and scoreboard pressure despite their already monumental margin. Queenslander David Armitage continues to stamp his authority on the match drilling a pin point pass to Milne who duly converts. The Saints add more majors to the total eventually increasing their margin to 70 by the final siren.

Although Melbourne has endured one of its most unusual days in the state’s proud history there is nothing quizzical about the result as the St Kilda line-up were far too strong for the Fremantle youngsters. The Saints will enter their third pre-season final in three years with a confident mindset while a promising campaign by the Dockers comes to a conclusion.

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)

St Kilda:
Nine-point goals: Geary, Gram Goals: Milne 4, Gram 2, Schneider 2, Stanley 2, Armitage, Geary, Koschitzke, Lynch, McQualter
Nine-point goals: Morabito, Pavlich Goals: Barlow, Hayden, Murphy

My Votes: 3. C.Jones      2. D.Armitage      1. J. Geary

About Damian Watson

Hey,my name is Damian Watson and I am 14 years old. My ambition is to become an AFL broadcaster/journalist in the future. I am a keen blues supporter and I live in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I play and write for the Knox Falcons U/16's.


  1. Damian Watson says:

    That should be second Pre Season Cup final, must have been my typo.

  2. Steve Healy says:

    Great work Damo,

    “The Saints victories over the course of this competition have been as unconvincing as a Bill Clinton apology” Love that lol

  3. Yeah nice piece Damo.

    That bill clinton line was funny lol.

  4. Yeah nice work Damo. But third Pre-Season Cup Final in three years?

  5. Damian Watson says:

    Comment 1- Sorry it was a typo.

  6. Steve Healy says:

    So its the 4 of us, 5 questions each.

    Who wants to start?

  7. 679- Last piece, Pretty fly is pretty funny lol

  8. Oh sorry, i read that comment but it didn’t register in my mind lol.

  9. Damian Watson says:

    Yeah alright, who wants to begin the first 5 question round?

  10. Steve Healy says:

    will you Damo?

  11. Damian Watson says:

    OK- who famously donned the number 60 jumper in the 1991 Elimination Final?

  12. Sorry guys I have to go :| talk tommorow.

  13. Steve Healy says:

    not sure Damo, was it his regular number?

  14. So it’s me up against the two footy wizards??

  15. Steve Healy says:

    cya Jeff, its just the 3 of us then

  16. Damian Watson says:

    No but he was an inflential player that day and in the years to follow in the Saints lie-up and the competition in general.

  17. Steve Healy says:

    You can try Josh, lol

  18. Nicky Winmar?

  19. Steve Healy says:

    Robert Harvey?

  20. Damian Watson says:

    18-Yes correct! Josh is on the board.

    Here is an easy one Q2- Which famous Footscray larrikin had a wing named after him at the Western Oval?

  21. Oh what a guess!

    Doug Hawkins?

  22. Steve Healy says:

    Charlie Sutton?

  23. No no i mean Ted Whitten!

  24. Damian Watson says:

    Josh 2

    Steve 0

    Damo 0

    What an upset so far!

  25. Steve Healy says:

    Ted Whitten

  26. Damian Watson says:

    The last round of 1987 is famous for many reasons, name three:

  27. Steve Healy says:

    Oh no!

  28. Steve Healy says:

    Didnt the Dees have to beat the Dogs and Hawthorn had to beat Geelong for them to make the finals?

  29. Damian Watson says:

    That’s one reason.

  30. Steve Healy says:

    are these other two reasons related to ladder positioning?

  31. Damian Watson says:

    They can be but I will also accept infamous moments that are stil referred to today.

  32. Steve Healy says:

    Geelong needed to win to make the finals, as did Footscray? Does that count as two reasons?

  33. Damian Watson says:

    I’m starting to fall asleep lol.

  34. Damian Watson says:

    No I will count that as one.

    C’mon think of a tape that has been replayed on the Footy Show over and over again.

  35. Steve Healy says:

    Did Steven Kernahan kick a winning goal after the siren to beat the Roos?


  37. Damian Watson says:

    Yes! that is three so Steve is on the board.

    Steve 1

    Josh 2

    Q4) Ricky Olarenshaw played for three clubs throughout his career, name them:

  38. Essendon, Sydney and West Coast?

  39. Steve Healy says:

    Essendon, Collingwood and north

  40. Damian Watson says:

    Steve again.

    So it’s 2-2, who can hit the lead at the conclusion of the first round?

    Q5)When and where did the lowly Hawthorn side win their first game of the 2004 Season?

  41. Steve Healy says:

    Round 1 at the MCG against the Dees

  42. Round 1 against Melbourne at the MCG by 49 points. I remember this game well.

  43. Steve Healy says:

    Davey’s first match

  44. Damian Watson says:

    That’s correct:

    Josh 3

    Steve 2

    Who’s turn?

  45. Steve Healy says:

    I got it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Damian Watson says:

    Crap typo again:

    Josh 2

    Steve 3

  47. I’ll have a crack, can’t guarentee the questions will come quickly though.

  48. Steve Healy says:

    I’ll go now:

    There were 6 supergoals kicked this weekend in the two games. name all six goal kickers

  49. 46: Oh what??!

  50. Steve Healy says:

    sorry Josh, the question counts

  51. Gram, Geary, Morabito, Pavlich, Pearce, Griffen

  52. Steve Healy says:

    51- Correct!

    Steve- 3

    Josh- 3

    Damo- 0

  53. Damian Watson says:

    Jason Gram, Jarryn Geray, Anthony Morabito, Matthew Pavlich, Ryan Griffen, Danyle Pearce.

  54. Damian Watson says:

    But I answered it in full! lol

  55. But you spelt Geary wrong. Poor form.

  56. Steve Healy says:

    Next question: In Round 8, 2006, the Tigers beat Adelaide by 3 points at the then Telstra Dome, employing tactics of a “keepings off” game style. The Tigers had 181 marks, 20 of those to Joel Bowden. Name the only Richmond player who didn’t have a mark for the game, the only player on the ground in fact.

  57. Definitely wasn’t Kayne Pettifer, his mark is the only one i remember from that match. I’ll take a stab in the dark and say Troy Simmonds?

  58. Damian Watson says:

    danny Meyer

  59. Steve Healy says:


  60. Steve Healy says:

    58- CORRECT!

    Steve- 3

    Josh- 3

    Damo- 1

  61. Chaffey?

  62. Damian Watson says:

    I think Chaffey retired the previous year.

  63. Steve Healy says:

    Who kicked 4 goals for the Dees in the 2000 Preliminary final against the Roos?

  64. Jeff White?

  65. Steve Healy says:

    Nup. This player also picked up 33 possessions

  66. Adem Yze?

  67. Damian Watson says:

    Farmer kicked 8- Neitz?

  68. Vardy?

  69. Damian Watson says:


  70. Steve Healy says:

    Nup and nup, Neitz kicked the 2

  71. Damian Watson says:


  72. Woeful Woewodin?

  73. Steve Healy says:

    Josh Vardy was playing for Adelaide then. nup

  74. Damian Watson says:


  75. Damian Watson says:


  76. Steve Healy says:

    all no.

  77. Green?

  78. Damian Watson says:


  79. Damian Watson says:


  80. Steve Healy says:

    78- Correct!

    I remember Powell, great player at his time, he played for the Dogs before the Dees and went on to play for the Saints and retire in 2006

    Steve- 3



  81. Grgic? Lol, Johnstone? Rigoni?

  82. Damian Watson says:

    Anyway sorry guys I have to make an early exit cya.

  83. Steve Healy says:

    bye Damo

  84. Yeah i might as well be off now, cya Steve

  85. Danielle says:

    as always, great report Damo.
    Adam Schneider, i cnt believe how lucky the Saints are, this is kinda like he whole Medhurst to Collingwood and look how that turned out! :)

    ps- GUESS WHO??!!
    •danni-president of JonRalphs fanclub Posted at 12:05 AM Today
    Jon Ralph’s writing rox my jox!
    Comment 5 of 11

  86. Haha funny Danni.

  87. I may be being harsh here, but would Jon Ralph’s writing look half as good if he had the exact same appearance as Mark Robinson?

  88. Danielle says:

    87- its not his fault hes pretty adam

  89. You’re not answering my question.

    Btw top work Damo.

  90. Steve Healy says:

    I don’t know how a Herald Sun writer’s work can look good

  91. Danielle says:

    87- YES first of all at first i didnt pat attention to the photo of the journalist so was always hooked on his work, so the fact that hes pretty or even if he wasnt wouldnt effect what he says.

  92. Danielle says:

    90- dont bad my future job HEALY!

  93. Steve Healy says:

    Sorry Danni, if you join the Herald Sun, then you’ll be their best writer, by a mile.

    Who heard that the Brisbane V geelong game could be played on the weekend before the season starts? How exciting is that, that could mean there isnt a weekend without footy!!!!!!!!!!!!

  94. 93:

  95. Steve Healy says:

    whatta ya mean Josh?

  96. Danielle says:

    93- cant wait to work for Ralphy! even if i have to start off photocopying!

  97. You’ll have to work your way up to photocopying, you’ll start by licking his shoes clean.

  98. Steve Healy says:

    we already have a job with the footy almanac Danni

  99. Steve Healy says:

    Danni, you might have to begin by sweeping the rats out of the herald sun building

  100. Danielle says:

    97- …my honour!

  101. 99 – C’mon Steve, they wouldn’t start her that high, it would be unfair on all the toilet scrubbers.

  102. Danielle says:

    i dont think ive have ever sqealed so early in the morning, the academy awards are on ch 9 and COLIN FIRTH is there!

  103. Steve Healy says:

    I bet Jon Ralph is a part-time toilet cleaner at the herald sun

  104. Danielle says:

    101- but im cuterrrr!! :)

  105. Danielle says:

    103- even if he is, it takes a real man to scrub a toilet!

  106. Danielle says:


  107. Steve Healy says:

    Just like in footy, there’s always next year Danni, Im sure you’d be used to that slogan as a collingwood supporter

  108. Steve get on MSN.

  109. Steve Healy says:

    108- Ok, I will

  110. Jeffrey says:

    ‘cough, cough’ Shes a quite one tonight.

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