Round 13 – Gold Coast v St Kilda: Saints Alive – Miracle At Metricon

 

 

By Braham Dabscheck

Saturday 16 June, 4:35 PM

Metricon Stadium

 

It has been said that you have to be a Saint to be a Saint! Well, it has been particularly hard in 2018. There was the win in Round One against the Lions, the draw against the Giants in Round Five and a good quarter against the Tigers and Eagles. The rest has been little more than one disaster after another.  It has forced Saints’ scribes into a form of semi retirement and listening to the theme song of ‘Alfie’.

 

The Saints took on the Suns away at Metricon Stadium. The Suns, despite their three wins have had a horrid month. Despite the shellacking at the hands (and feet) of the Swans last week (who could give the flag a real shake this year) this was a game the Saints needed to win to restore some respectability to the season. Lose this one and the world would come to an end.

 

The game started badly with Jimmy Webster, our best player for the season by miles – but then the ball has been in the back half a lot – injured at the five minute mark of the first quarter. One down on rotations. Despite this, the Saints were competitive in the first quarter, being six points behind at the first change to a late goal by the Suns.

 

Things turned ugly in the early stages of the second quarter. Every time the Suns went forward they kicked a goal. Their little guys were running amok with the Saints looking listless and tired. The Saints managed to stop the flow with Jade Gresham getting a late goal following a flowing forward thrust for the Saints to be down by 31 points at the main break. But the signs weren’t good.

 

Both teams traded a goal each at the start of the third. Then disaster struck. Half way through the quarter Bailey Rice suffered a head clash and was carried off on a stretcher. He was later seen on the bench in the last quarter; hopefully he is OK. The Suns then grabbed another goal – the Saints down by 39 points. Well, I thought, here we go again; another disaster, a big loss beckons.

 

But then the tide turned. The Saints started to control the play and the Suns ran out of legs. Their little guys seemed to disappear and the Saints won the 50/50 contests in the back half. Tim Membrey kicked a late goal in the third. The Saints went into the final break 31 points behind.

 

The last quarter was all the Saints. It wasn’t pretty; a hard slog from go to woe. The Saints simply gutsed it out. It was as if they said to themselves we have had enough of losing and even though we are two down on rotations we are not going to let this one slip away. Maybe being down in rotations meant players spent more time on the field and worked their way into the flow of the game. Daniel McKenzie had an outstanding last quarter and kicked a clutch goal from a Jade Gresham handpass late in the quarter to bring the Saints within a kick.

 

The big three forwards all kicked truly from set shots. Josh Battle following a string of long kicks from Tim Membrey and Paddy McCartin; Paddy a beautiful banana (well, the game was in Queensland) from wide on an angle; and Tim Membrey following a mark and a 50 meter penalty. Then, with a minute to go, Jade Gresham, who doesn’t wear Daryl Baldock’s number 4 because he won it in a lucky dip, pulled some Doc magic out of the hat. From a ball up in the Saints’ forward half, Billy Longer tapped it wide to the pocket for Jade Gresham to run onto it it and kicking around his body snapped truly for what turned out to be a Miracle Win.

 

With so many injuries and the blooding of new players, 2018 is going to be one of those years for the Saints. They have a few more wins in them and may upset one of the top sides before the season is done and dusted. The Saints’ brains trust need to hold their nerve, ignore the media with its braying for blood, and build for a better season in 2019.

 

Go Saints!

 

Gold Coast Suns:   4.2   9.7   11.12   11.12 (78).

St. Kilda:    3.2   4.6   6.11   12.14 (80).

 

Goals

Gold Coast Suns: Lynch 3, Sexton 3, Holman 2, Ainsworth, Lemmens, Ah Chee.

St. Kilda: Battle 3, Membrey 2, McCartin 2, Gresham 2, Newnes, McKenzie.

 

Best

Gold Coast Suns: Sexton, Lynch, Harbrow, Swallow, Bowes.

St. Kilda: Steven, Ross, Gresham, Carlisle, McKenzie.

 

Umpires: Haussen, Hosking, Parnell, Ryan.

Crowd: 10,181

 

Our Votes: Steven 3 (St. Kilda), Ross 2 (St. Kilda), Gresham 1 (St. Kilda).

 

 

Comments

  1. Yvette Wroby says:

    The Saints are back. You are back writing. The sun shines once again. Lovely report Braham.

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