Round 14 – Essendon v St Kilda: Saints win credibility

Essendon v St Kilda

1:10 p.m. Sunday July 4th 2015

Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Andy Tuano

It was a Sunday morning, there was that uncomfortable feeling of regret and confusion again: there was a Saints game on, but I felt we could win this one. I felt like I smelt something, fear was rising from Essendon, so I didn’t know what I’d expect.

My brilliant procrastination had led me to be late to the game, which included me missing out on all tickets. When I heard the only ones free were from Level 3 Front and Reserved, I resigned. My sister and Essendon Brother-in-law were in the stadium, so I was hoping for some kind of resolution. As I waited, I finished off my traditional pre-game Vietnamese bread roll, and listened to Triple M’s take on the game. We were doing so well, six goals up and they were coming. We got to 45 before I got in, with a standing ticket for free, the only ticket remaining.

Nevertheless, St Kilda started to fall apart in the second quarter as I came in. I am like an unlucky charm, and the last 10 minutes of a second quarter always is for St Kilda. No matter how well we are doing, we always tend to ruin our hard work by letting the opposition in with a chance.

I decided to stand behind the Coventry End of Level 1, and the Saints fans were loud. As the 3rd quarter progressed and the Saints kicked to our end, the loud roars of Saints fans thrashed those of the pitiful groans of delight that emitted from the Bombers’ few goals. It was an experience I won’t forget and rather enjoyed, possibly drunken men blurring out sledges and hate messages to Goddard and Gwilt, who I was delighted to see still useless after leaving St Kilda. “Strength through Loyalty, BJ!” “Yeah Gwilt, you never were much of a use at St Kilda were you?”

The sledges went on. By three quarter time, the Saints had a commanding 66 point lead and the Saints cheer squad started getting restless for a 100+ drubbing. So did I.

It started off badly, with Hooker kicking one of the easiest goals you’ll ever see. After their only goal of the quarter, we piled on eight goals to win by 110. It was amazing to hear the chants of our favourite players all working tirelessly to get ourselves that 100+ win. As Goddard and Gwilt wilted, our players got stronger. To see Bruce, Riewoldt, Membrey, Lonie and Sinclair work so well up forward, Armitage and Steven pump the ball relentlessly forward, and a defence that had been mocked as useless to hold Essendon to just one goal in the last quarter pleased every Saint around. But my favourite moment came with 30-40 seconds left, when the game was well over and wrapped up.

The Bombers pumped the ball long inside their forward 50, and it looked certain to be a goal. Goddard was opposite to Farren Ray, not a fan favourite but still a strong midfielder. Even with the knowledge of it being a 100+ win, Farren did not have a second thought, crashing his body hard into Goddard’s to create a ball-up. Mentioned in the post match interview by Alan Richardson, it was something that wasn’t going to go unmentioned, as was Josh Bruce’s effort early in the second quarter. This day was the turning point, St Kilda was no laughing matter now.

Also a small bit about Phil Walsh, such a tragic story. My condolences to all those related to Phil and all those shocked, as I have been, by this sudden tragedy.

ESSENDON 1.0 5.1 7.3 8.4 (52)
ST KILDA 5.3 10.8 17.9 25.12 (162)

Essendon: Hooker 3, Heppell 2,Cooney, Daniher, Hibberd
St Kilda: Bruce 5, Riewoldt 4, Montagna 2, Weller 2, Armitage 2, Sinclair 2, Membrey 2, Newnes, Lonie, Webster, Savage, Schneider, Dunstan

Essendon: Heppell, Hurley, McKernan
St Kilda: Armitage, Steven, Lonie, Roberton, Dempster, Bruce, Montagna, Longer

Umpires: O’Gorman, Ryan, Meredith

Official crowd: 38,020 at Etihad Stadium

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