Round 1 – St Kilda v Collingwood (Floreat Pica Society)




St Kilda v Collingwood
Friday 18 March 2022, 7:50pm



By Paul McKay



In all the great sporting contests that we follow dearly, the value of a quick start cannot be doubted, nor underestimated. In tennis, it could be a few aces in the opening game, ideally with the big one coming at 40-0. In cricket, it’s Warnie knocking over Mike Gatting in his first ball in Ashes tests, or Starc uprooting Burns on the first ball at the Gabba. With the Pies, it’s coming away with the four points in Round 1. Gaining the early upper hand just makes that small (and sometimes big) psychological difference. For us faithful supporters, with all due respect to the Piesimists in our midst, a first up win on a Friday night surely means a good weekend, and a good week ahead.


But yes, we do have another 22 games to go…


So here we are at Round one, and one notable difference from last year is surely the crowds and the noise they bring. Under the roof at Marvel, we are taking on a mostly full strength Saints. With the likes of King, Battle, Kent, Wood, Membrey and the Butler, they are not to be taken lightly.



First quarter. It’s a fast start, and there is nowhere to hide on this small Docklands pitch, and the pressure from both sides is intense. There is a millisecond to make your disposal by foot or hand. Checkers misses an easy set shot within the first minute. The Saints get on the board after Masonry Wood gets a gift from Nick Daicos, who was under pressure on the goal line. A few scuffles emerge as some Saints players give Nick a ribbing and many of our senior players come to defend him. Good to see.


A sublime interception from Sidey sees him walking through a pack, blazing away with a mongrel kick forward and Checkers gets an easy goal. Saints go forward from the bounce and we defend well. De Goey is busy early and he finds Moore at half back. Darcy goes direct, and it falls to Lipinski who slots an opportunist goal. Howe, Crisp and de Goey are working hard, showing clean disposal and overall, we are finding targets. However, Reg Grundy suddenly likes to go against that trend – having four team mates to choose from in the back pocket, he somehow finds the impressive mullet of Dean Kent who gleefully accepts and goals.


Our Mason is trying his best to provide a target, but he is regularly mobbed. Grundy is jumping too early. Our back line is holding up well, and some fast, but scrappy forward zig-zagging results in a point to Ginnavan. A minute later the same kid from Bendigo (short, hometown plug there…) snaps a goal from close to the boundary after ignoring the highly animated lead from Elliott. Checkers snaps a check side on the run, and we are 16 points up. It seems our smalls are providing better forward targets than our talls. IQ holds on to his opponent a bit too obviously and Jack Hayes gets the free, and it’s a major for the Saints. There are two Daicoses out there on the park, and the great man is in the stands. Ollie H gets a point from a long shot and we take a nine-point lead into the first break. Some good signs.



Second quarter. It starts well for the Pies and Jamie Elliott provides a fast lead and mark for the low Taylor
Adams bullet, and goals. Jeremy Howe continues to do the superb defensive work, with reliable intercept marks. I am forced to change his title from the previously used ‘Lord’ Howe, to General Howe. Lipinski puts a strong tackle on Kent. Another fine mark from Howe. Loving it. De Goey gets a chance from 50 but overshoots Elliott for a point. Max King, sporting the Borat look, misses once…misses twice, then gets a goal in the next five minutes of play. The dark spectacled Mason Cox is working hard, but cannot get a touch. Free to Crisp in the centre, followed by his trademark raking left foot, delivers to McCreery deep in the forward pocket – set shot goal. 14 points up. The same raking left foot of Crisp brings us forward again. Checkers get a free kick for a throw, but hits the post. Pressure on Hill by way of a slamming tackle from McCreery in the midfield sees the end of a forward thrust for the Saints. Trademark defensive fist from Darcy Moore denies Membrey, and the crowd loves it. Luke Hodge likes the ground work that Cox is doing. Pendles finds Bianco in space, another set shot miss. Grrrr. 15 point lead.


King finds Membrey in more space – goal to the Saints. Another forward thrust after a free to J Daicos sees the ball into our forward pocket and the silky skill of Steele Sidebottom completes the moves with his left foot for an easy goal. The commentators are gushing about his ambidexterity. Back to a 14 point lead. Big Mason finally gets a pack mark, yet misses the sitter from 20 metres, pushing it right. Easy misses are costing us a 30-40 point lead here. Instead, we take a 15 point lead into the main break.



Third quarter. Waiting for the bounce, we see a lot of friendly banter between Pies and Saints players. Big Mason does some fine roving on the outer wing, ball comes down to J Daicos who sneaks through a fine snap on his left, and the whole Daicos family celebrates. Next it is Grundy to de Goey who pleads, and pleads, and pleads again, receives, moves onto his left foot and snaps the goal. We are on a roll. Celebrations are on the field this time. Free to Adams, Pendles gets it for de Goey for a set shot. Good grief, he hits the post. Free to Grundy, another forward push, and Sidey on that magical left. Now we have a 34 point lead. Commentators again gush about Sidey. I hope he nas a more consistent year than last year.


De Goey delightfully roves from Grundy, and another forward push, and BT is sensing that the Pies will run away with this. Elliott’s body language resembles our company’s logistics department over the past 12 months. Not happy at all with the delivery. Time for a Howe Hanger. Nomination No. 1 for MOTY. Here comes a critical moment in the contest. Do we continue our domination and put the Saints to the sword? Or do we take our foot off and let them back in? Sinclair with the classic Braveheart mullet lets go from 50 and gets a goal for the Saints. Darcy was right on the goal line to intercept, jumped too early and seemed a bit spooked by something and could not get a hand on it. Saints move forward again and the momentum has clearly shifted. 11 minutes left in the term and in that time, the Saints draw back their deficit and trail by five points at the last break. In fact, they scored 4.6 in this period, so we were quite lucky not to be staring down the barrel at the start of the fourth. I can’t help but think that teams such as the Dees or the Dogs would have probably piled on seven or eight in similar circumstances. Higgins and his inaccuracy was our gift.


Suddenly the camera is zooming in on McCrae and Pendles, looking for some signs from our coach and captain. It is worth noting that two of the Saints goals in this period come from free kicks, thanks to sloppiness from McCreery and Grundy and another one is from sloppiness from Crisp, delivering a gift wrapped ball to the centre to Gresham.



Final quarter. Those familiar nerves creep back as an early goal to Gresham gives the Saints a one-point lead. Now the question is somewhat reversed. Do we capitulate, or do we fight? Fortunately it is the latter, as the tireless Taylor Adams gets the ball to Lipinski, a great goal-square mark to Checkers, and we take back the lead immediately. Some superb defending sees the ball in Crisp’s hands again, and he delivers perfectly to Ginnivan, who threads it nicely from a set shot from 45m. He is fast becoming a reliable second small forward after Elliott.


Grundy takes it from the centre bounce and some further forward pressure sees the ball in Ollie Henry’s hands, he takes on all the oncoming traffic (he would do well in Bangkok) and threads a fine running goal and now we have a 17 point lead. Adams moves the ball from the next bounce and cops a heavy crunch from Wood. A big hit, and ribs are the worry, but he emerges, probably just winded. The Saints are not lying down, they find space yet again, and the ball is with Membrey, who misses. We are 16 points up, and the contest is not over.


I have to say here, Darcy Moore does some great things, but then somehow finds a way to reverse his good work. His kick out is a millisecond too slow, and it is smothered by Kent and we are under pressure again. The Saints fail to take the advantage and the pressure is off momentarily. Richo has been talking a lot about our backline structure. The quick set up from our backs is providing a solid wall of defence. Can we do the same against the likes of the dangerous forwards of the Dees, Dogs or the Cats? Membrey finds a loose ball in the goal square, snaps it over his head and it’s a ten-point ball game with ten minutes left on the clock. Another forward move and Darcy Moore finds de Goey all on his lonesome, 25 metres out, slight angle. Goal. Back to 17 points. Hard to believe that the Saints are not manning up on Jordan. Great defensive work from Cox, IQ and Elliott…it’s desperation time…tired bodies everywhere. Gresham is on his own in the forward line and goals, back to 11 point lead for the Pies. Four minutes. Can we hang on?


Jack Madgen makes what looks to be the game saving spoil on Jack Hayes, possibly very lucky not to give away a free for high contact, but our Jack gets the free kick for a desperate tackle on Wood, and the pressure is off. Mason takes a big grab but too far out to score. Pendles then finds Ollie and he goals. Phew. Game over. The chant goes up. A hard fought effort, for many of our players especially in the last when the game was in the balance. The camera zooms to a visibly relaxed coach in the box. He comes down the race along with the coaching team, high fiving a happy crowd of relieved Pies fans, left and right.




1. Isaac Quaynor: key intercepts at the right moments, especially in the final term.
2. Patrick Lipinski: worked hard all night, 30 possessions, a fine debut.
3. Taylor Adams; gutsy performance, in and under packs all night. Our next captain in the making. A true professional.


Apologies to Jack Crisp, Darcy Moore, Jamie Elliott, Jeremy Howe, Jordan de Goey, Ollie
Henry and the brothers Daicos, all of whom put in four good quarters.


A positive start to 2022.


The script points to a big win against the Crows at the ‘G next week.


Go Pies!



The BKK Correspondent




ST KILDA                         3.2       5.6       9.12       12.13 (85)
COLLINGWOOD                 4.5       7.9       10.11     15.12 (102)


St Kilda: Hayes, Membrey 3, Gresham 2, Kent, King, Sinclair, Wood
Collingwood: Mihocek 3, Ginnivan, De Goey, Sidebottom, Henry 2, J.Daicos, Elliott, Lipinski, McCreery


St Kilda: Sinclair, Hayes, Steele, Marshall, Gresham, Crouch
Collingwood: De Goey, Lipinski, Howe, N. Daicos, T. Adams, Mihocek, J.Daicos


Crowd: 40,129



Read more Round 1 reports HERE


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