Round 19 – Port Adelaide v St Kilda: Losing my gray matter – This was worse than a thumping

By Braham Dabscheck

Saturday 29 July 2017, 4.05 PM

Adelaide Oval


In its last two games the Saints have criss crossed the ball in the back half looking for holes in the opposition’s defence as a means to move the footy forward; all to no avail. Against Port they changed the focus to a more long-kicking, down the line game with quickly playing on to move the action away from the back half. For three quarters they struggled with the playing on side of this equation which was not helped with leaving their kicking boots back in Sydney. With only seconds left in the third quarter they had kicked 2.12, with 8 to 10 of the points all being gettable. Can someone please find the club another shoe manufacturer? What could have been.


The game was an arm wrestle from go to woe (yes, woe). The Saints were up for the game and despite the above problems pressured Port into mistakes. In the first quarter the Saints opened well and held Port except for when they conceded two goals in the final minute of the quarter. They were to repeat this dose in the final quarter which ultimately cost them the game! The next two quarters were hard slogs with only five goals being scored. In the second, Josh Bruce, who competed strongly all day and gets a raw deal from umpires (they obviously aren’t into Shakespeare) looked to have injured himself when he crashed into the point post with the ball spilling free for Tim Membrey to snap a goal. Josh was OK. Blake Acres marked with seconds to go in the third quarter and kicked truly for the Saints to trail by only seven points at the last break.


The game came to life in the last quarter. Port kicked two of the first three to go to a two goal plus lead. The Saints then had a purple patch kicking four in a row. The first of these was the best. The ball was kicked forward to Shane Savage who ran down the wing, bounced the ball four times, with his centering kick being crumbed by Jade Gresham for a goal. Two snaps by Jack Sinclair and Luke Dunstan put the Saints in front. This was followed by a goal by Tim Membrey from a mark and a shot on a wide angle; his second for the quarter and third for the game. The Saints looked much better with him back in the team.


Two minutes to go and the Saints up by 10 points. What looked like being a memorable victory turned to dust. Port got one back with a minute left to play. Nineteen seconds are left on the clock. There is a throw in on Port’s half forward line. Paddy Ryder palms it to Robbie Gray who waltzes into the forward 50 and scores the winning goal with the last kick of the game. Devastation and disbelief. What did the Saints do in a previous life to be ‘rob(bi)ed’ like this? As bad as the last two weeks were, and they were bad, and when I say bad they were really bad, they were nothing like this. Munching cakes and chocolates have done nothing to dissipate the hurt. Nothing will!



Port Adelaide   2.3   3.5   5.7   9.9 (63)

St. Kilda    1.3   2.8   3.12   8.13 (61)



Port Adelaide:  Westhoff, Amon, Impey, Polec, Trengove, Dixon, Ebert, Young, R. Gray.

St. Kilda: Membrey 3, Lonie, Acres, Gresham, Sinclair, Dunstan.



Port Adelaide: R. Gray, Polec, Wines, Ryder, Pittard.

St. Kilda:  Dunstan, Carlisle, Ross, Sinclair, Roberton.


Umpires: Findlay, Kamolins, Stephens.

Crowd: 30, 335


Our Votes: R. Gray 3 (Port Adelaide), Dunstan 2 (St. Kilda), Carlisle 1 (St. Kilda).


  1. Braham, the loss was too painful for me. I worked on the game day between pre and post match. The loss affected me a lot. I am still sad and upset, and want to cry like a baby…

  2. The loss was really upsetting. I can’t believe how it happened.

  3. There was a loose kick into Port’s 50 that opened up the game for them. All they needed to do was hold possession, but they were keen on getting another one. This is the sort of thing Richmond have done way too often. (One of the HAwks did exactly the same, tried to pinpoint a pass and the Swans swept it away.)

    As the Pies showed yesterday, icing the game is a very hard thing to do, under pressure.

    Great for the neutrals, if that is any solace…

  4. Braham Dabscheck says

    Yoshi, I understand your feelings of loss. It is part of being a Saint. And if the truth be known it is something that the supporters of all clubs experience. And this has been a season with a lot of come from behind victories in the dieing seconds of games. Don’t worry, happiness will return when the Saints beat the Eagles next week. Take heart from how competitive the Saints were in comparison to recent games. Peter, you are on the money. I think if the umpire had paid deliberately out of bounce at the end we probably would have won. It has been an odd season. Go Saints and hail to you Saint Nick on the morning before you announce your retirement. What a player and an ornament to the game. A start up walk in to the Hall of Fame and Footy Legend!!

  5. Paddy Ryder’s tap to Robbie Gray might be the AFL equivalent of the Gatting Ball. Just magnificent.

  6. Peter Warrington says

    sorry I wasn’t clear (but yo are probably right, if Carlisle had been penalised the Sts wwould have been able to defend the kick in)

    mine was a kick from the Sts into their attacking 50, but sadly straight to two port guys who slingshotted it away downfield. just needed to kill another 30 secs and they were home : (

  7. Don’t worry Peter you weren’t vague. I remember Jack Sinclair’s kick. He could have put the ball on the ground and then tackled a Port player. But what can we do about what ifs? Nothing. At least the Saints looked more competitive. And it was a great game with a sad result. Such is the life of a Saint-as Saint Nick said this afternoon.

  8. Ryder to Gray reminded me of Lade to Burgoyne. Just those blokes did it with monotonous regularity. St. Kilda very stiff, but we have lost many close ones, so a bit of swings & roundabouts; although I realise that is no help. Sorry to see end of N. Riewoldt, an ornament to the game, a bloke who I liked watching just for his abilities and actions. As they say in the classics – always leave ’em wanting more – and never go a season too long. Well played Sir.

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