Round 21 – Essendon v St. Kilda: Three Great Moments Despite Saints Being Demolished By Bombers

7.50 PM Friday 10 August


Etihad Stadium


The Saints went into Friday night’s game against the Bombers with a fairly young side. Ben Paton was making his debut, and Nathan Freeman and Lewis Pierce were pulling on the red, white and black for only the second time; Nathan following up from last week and Lewis from two years ago, On top of this Bailey Rice was playing his ninth game and Rowan Marshall was playing his tenth, with Ben Long, in his first game back after a long lay off caused by injuries was playing only his twelfth game. All in all, more than a quarter of the team have had little experience.


This game was a somewhat imperfect replica of last week’s match against the Dogs and at one and the same time somewhat worse. The worst part was that the Bombers were reduced to two on the bench in the first quarter. They then experienced two more injuries and had no rotations in the last. This is the only quarter that the Saints won; by all of two points!


The Saints matched it with the Bombers in the first quarter, with both sides coughing up gift goals for each other. The Saints dominated most of the second quarter but had trouble scoring from set shots in front of goal. The first great moment was when Nathan Freeman kicked his first ever goal following a mark and a 50 meter penalty for a high tackle. With about five minutes of the quarter to go the scores were level and the Saints looked like they could pull off an upset win. And then, just like against the Dogs, disaster struck. The Bombers kicked four in as many minutes and the game was over.


After half time the Bombers ran all over the Saints and kicked easy goals. The worst part was how many times the Saints turned the ball over with poor kicking out of defence. Field kicking has been a problem all year for the Saints. Maybe the best option is just to kick it long and line up the team down the field accordingly? Don’t think, kick it long!!


Being a supporter is not just about following a team because you expect, or rather hope, that they will win every game. Even in a loss there are moments to savoir. Number two and three occurred in the last quarter. Small forward Ben Long took a screamer and kicked truly. He is a likely lad who will get better with more games. Late in the game Ben Paton marked wide in the forward pocket and kicked truly to register his first goal in his first game. Well done Ben. Seb Ross and Jack Steele were outstanding for the Saints with 43 and 31 disposals respectively. Without them things would have been much worse.


Two games to go. It would be nice to think that the Saints still have one win left in them. If they can do it against the Demons there is no reason why they can’t cruel the finals’ runs of the Hawks or Kangaroos. All they need to do is find their kicking boots.


Go Saints


Essendon:   5.3   10.8   14.13   18.14 (122)

St. Kilda:    4.4   6.8   7.10   11.13 (79)



Essendon: McDonald-Tipungwuti 5, Fantasia 2, Stringer 2, Myers 2, Langford 2, Heppel, Francis, Hooker, McKenna, Smith.


St. Kilda: Gresham 2, Lonie 2, Billings 2, Freeman, Newnes, Long, Marshall, Paton.



Essendon: Myers, Heppel, Mcdonald-Tipungwiti, Merrett, Smith.


St. Kilda: Ross, Steele, Billings, Armitage, Sinclair.


Umpires: Deboy, Mollison, Pannell.


Crowd: 37,483.


Our Votes: Myers 3 (Essendon), Heppel 2 (Essendon), Ross 1 (St. Kilda).


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  1. Braham, I admire your ability to revise expectations downward for our Saints. That’s central to being a devoted supporter, to roll with the punches. As for me, I’m pretty well punched out, though I still watch every game. My theory is that the Saints slipped into an alternate universe in early April and could not escape. Come first of the year, it’ll all dissolve and they’ll return to 2017 form. That’s the most rational explanation I can concoct for this season’s abysmal showing. Maybe we’re meant to suffer deeply before the big payoff…

  2. Braham Dabscheck says

    Dear GlennB,

    I think the rot set in last year when we lost to Port. The second game this year against the Kangaroos set the scene for this year. It is hard to explain how we beat the Dees, who look like a form team to me. I suspect they played injured players and paid the price. As I have said many a time you have to be a Saint to be a Saint! There are always a few moments to hang onto. Late in tthe game there was Ben Payton’s first goal. And if the truth be known we had a bad run with injuries early in the season. Hope always springs eternal and a turn around next year.

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