Round 20 – St. Kilda v Hawthorn: Saints’ early dominance enough to hold off fast finishing Hawks


St. Kilda v Hawthorn

4:35pm, Saturday, July 30

Marvel Stadium



All footy games are odd, possessed of their own dynamic which no-one can predict as players struggle with themselves and against each other in their attempts to find a place in the pantheon of those who have played The Great Australian Game. This game was no exception. Both teams tried to move the ball quickly but spent most of the game either frustrating each other and themselves (not to mention the coaches and we mere mortal supporters), and, when they managed to break the shackles turned the ball over with poor foot skills, or kicked when they should have hand passed/hand passed when they should have kicked.



The game really only had one memorable goal when Seb Ross, in the second quarter, grabbed a loose ball that headed his way after a prolonged scramble in front of the Saints goal square and slammed it on his left more in hope than anything else and watched it take flight like a rocket fired towards the moon and on its downward trajectory to earth sailed through for a six pointer; giving the Saints a handy four goal lead as half time approached.



The Saints dominated the first two and a half quarters, out scoring the Hawks by eight goals to one. From then on it was all Hawks, outscoring the Saints by eight goals to two. The game was a scramble with both sides nullifying each other. The first goal of the game happened at the half way point of the first quarter when Mason Wood marked in the forward pocket, 30 or so meters out on an angle. Rather than side foot it, as has been his wont, he decided to use a drop punt and kicked a neat goal. The Hawks got one back, their only one for the first half, from a soccer in the goal square following one of their few forward sorties.



Dan Hannebery, who was playing his first game for the season and only his sixteenth in four seasons following a series of injuries, kicked the Saints’ second late in the quarter. Or it might be more correct to say he miskicked it. After another scramble the ball was hand passed to him and he kicked it into the ground, the ball had been heading to a Hawk defender when it bounced up like a bumper over his head through the big sticks. It provided a perfect symmetry to the goal Seb Ross kicked later in the game. Dan had a solid game and was one of the Saints’ better players on the day. The same could also be said of Mitch Owens. who returned from a long lay0ff due to injury.



The second quarter was a struggle, just like the third with the Saints kicking three goals. One was from a free to Brad Crouch in the goal square, a second to Dan Butler following a dropped mark by a Hawk and Seb Ross’s snap. The Saints jumped out of the blocks early in the third with three quick goals. Then everything changed. Even though the Hawks were down with only three on the bench they took over and, more importantly, started kicking goals. But they had left things too late. The Saints did enough to hang on.



The game was distinctive in that in every quarter the Saints managed to kick points when they could, should have kicked goals from very gettable set shots; two such misses in every quarter. What had the appearance of being a potential percentage booster turned out to be a narrow and somewhat frustrating win. The most important thing, however, is that the Saints won. Games against lower ladder sides are fraught with danger. This was also Tim Membrey’s 150th game; he has been a stalwart for the team in recent years. Well done Tim. The Saints will need to improve next week if they are to have any chance of beating the in-form Cats down at the Cattery next week.



Go Saints!




ST. KILDA      2.2   5.7   9.10   10.15 (75)

HAWTHORN    1.2   1.5   4.5   9.9 (63)



St. Kilda: King 2, Wood, Hannebery, Crouch, Butler, Ross, Membrey, Owens, Higgins

Hawthorn: Newcombe, Scrimshaw 2, Gunston, Butler, McEvoy, Moore, Bruest



St. Kilda: Marshall, Steele, Crouch, Hanneberry, Sinclair

Hawthorn: Mitchell, Ward, Newcombe, Morrison, Maginness


Crowd: 25,348


Malarkey Votes: Mitchell 1 (Haw), Steele 2 (StK), Marshall 3 (StK).





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