Round 19 – St. Kilda v Melbourne: Saints prevail against the Demons in see-sawing Saturday night struggle

By Braham Dabscheck

7.25 PM Saturday 27 July

Marvel Stadium



A somewhat odd game. The Saints dominated for large sections of the game, but it was only in the latter part of the last quarter that they secured victory. The undermanned Demons, whose Achilles heel is their lack of key forwards, gave themselves a chance by scoring snatches of goals in short bursts. These bursts of scoring either helped them get ahead or get back into the game when the Saints looked like they would establish an unassailable lead. The Saints were not as fluent as they had been last week against the Dogs. The first half, especially the second quarter, was riddled with mistakes as both teams auditioned for work with the Keystone Cops. In addition, the Saints’ yips in front of goal reared its ugly head once again. There were three posters plus at least four other shots that should/could have been goals.


Before one had a chance to settle in to watch the game the Demons kicked 3 goals. The Saints had hardly touched the ball! The Saints then worked there way back into the match and kicked the next three goals. Seb Ross, who turned in a best on ground performance, got things going with a rare goal from a snap on the boundary line. Josh Bruce got the second grabbing the ball and playing on from a through in. Ben Long chimed in with a third following a mark deep in the forward 50. Things seemed to be on even keel when the Demons grabbed two late goals, the latter kicked after the siren following a mark.


In the second quarter both teams struggled to find any fluency; the game as already mentioned being riddled with mistakes. The Demons finally scored one despite their best efforts to muck it up and the Saints came back late in the quarter with two goals from marks, one by Josh Bruce and the second by second gamer Doulton Langlands. At the main break the Saints were down by 5 points.


The Saints dominated the third quarter. Tim Membrey had a purple patch where he kicked three in a row; two from a metre out in the goal square either side of a high mark close to the point post. Seb Ross added a fourth with a long bomb and the Saints looked home and hosed. The Demons who had kicked two for the quarter at that stage kicked a late goal off the ground. A push and shove affair commenced and the Demons were awarded another free kick in front of goal. What should have been a decent lead had been turned into a deficit. Josh Bruce marked on the 50 metre line late in the quarter. He kicked truly with a long bomb after the siren; the Saints up by 4 points at three quarter time.


The final quarter starts and the Demons kick two goals in less than two minutes. Here we go again; are the Saints going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? The Saints steady. Jack Lonie who had a quieter game than his best on ground performance against the Dogs last week kicked truly following a mark. Then the key moment of the game occurred – or the one that was sheer magic. The ball was running free across the Saints’ half back line and Hunter Clark ran at it on an angle between a couple of Demons, grabbed the ball and looked odds on to be tackled with a turnover in the offing. His momentum forced him free and simultaneously he veered onto a straight line, lowered his eyes and steered a perfect pass onto the chest of Seb Ross in the center square (such a wonderful oxymoron) who turned on a sixpence and repeated a perfect pass on to the chest of an advancing Josh Bruce just inside the forward 50. Now Josh did his utmost to hit the left hand big stick but wasn’t up for it and the ball sailed through – well, maybe sneaked through – for a six pointer. Josh turned to his teammates and looked like the cat (sorry I meant to say the Saint) that had swallowed the canary. His four goals at key moments ensured the Saints’ victory. The Demons kicked another goal mid way through the quarter which was answered by three goals; one from a free in the pocket to Ben Long, a crumb running into goal by Nick Hind with a celebration to match and a mark wide in the pocket by Jack Billings. And the Saints kicked over 100 points for the second time in the season! They kicked 10 in the second half!!


Two wins in a row don’t make a season; but it sure beats losing (ask the Demons)! Believe it or not the Saints are only one game and a lot of percentage! (and by that I mean a lot of percentage) outside the eight. The Saints have got their mojo back with the young guns doing well; much like the old-ens. Crows away next week. Who knows? Go Saints!!


St. Kilda        3.2   5.7   10.10   15.14 (104)
Melbourne   5.3   6.4   10.6   13.7 (85)



St. Kilda: Bruce 4, Membrey 3, Ross 2, Long 2, Langlands, Lonie, Hind, Billings.
Melbourne: Petracca 3, Fritsch 2, Harmes 2, Lewis, Smith, C. Wagner, Petty, Oliver, Neal-Bullen.



St. Kilda: Ross, Bruce, Gresham, Steele, Clark.
Melbourne: Gawn, Oliver, Harmes, Petracca, Salem.


Umpires: Hay, Howarth, Stevic.

Crowd: 22,854.


Our Votes (Malarkey Medal): Ross 3 (St. Kilda); Bruce 2 (St. Kilda); Gawn 1 (Melbourne).


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE



To find out more about Almanac memberships CLICK HERE

Leave a Comment