Round 22- St.Kilda v Hawthorn: Saints put in a good one but miss out in a cliff hanger against the Hawks

 

7. 25 PM Saturday 18 August

Etihad Stadium

 

The Saints have had a season from hell; a season they would rather forget.

 

One of their problems has been that once an opponent gets on top they fall in a heap, unable to respond. Like last week against the Bombers they fielded a fairly young team, with approximately a third having played less than 20 games. Midfielder Nathan Freeman made way for tall defender Logan Austin for his nineteenth game. Hugh Goddard replaced the suspended Nathan Brown for his tenth game, his first since 2016. And stalwart Sam Gilbert was a late replacement for Jake Carlisle whose wife gave birth. Congratulations Jake.

 

Those who know such things predicted an easy win for the Hawks. Such was not the case. On two occasions the Hawks clicked and powered past the Saints. On both occasions, and in contradiction to what had occurred in previous games, the Saints reeled them back in  what turned out to be a pulsating and highly entertaining game.

 

In the first quarter the Saints dominated possession and the inside 50s but lacked the poise to finish off with a goal. The Hawks kicked the first three of the game, the Saints got one back, with the Hawks getting a fourth with seconds remaining on the clock before quarter time.

 

The portents were not good and a percentage booster for the Hawks looked on the cards. Then things turned. The Saints got back into the game aided by two clangers by the Hawks in their back half. You could sense that the Saints had a sniff that this was a game that they could win. Both sides exchanged goals for the rest of the quarter with the lead changing hands each time. The Hawks got a lucky one again just before the siren sounded before half time. As it turned out these late goals in both of these quarters were what separated the two teams.

 

The Saints kicked the first in the third quarter to lead once more. The Hawks responded with a dominant display where they kicked four in ten minutes to led by 24 points. Not again! The Saints were looking down the barrel of another capitulation. The Saints then reeled the Hawks back for the second time. Jack Lonie had a purple patch when he kicked three goals in six minutes. The Saints trailed by nine points at the final break.

 

Jade Gresham kicked an early goal in the last and missed a second from a set shot a few minutes later. The Saints trailed by two points with most of the quarter to play. Game on. The rest of the quarter was an arm wrestle as both defences held firm. The Hawks kicked two points. The Saints, as hard as they tried were unable to find a passage to goal. As the final siren rang out they fell short by four points.

 

Despite the loss the Saints played well and showed signs of what they are capable of.

 

Mention has already been made of late goals by the Hawks in the first and second quarters as being crucial to the final result. A second factor, something which has dogged the Saints all season, were misses from set shots for goal. At least the Saints did not provide the Hawks with gift goals.

 

Jack Steele had another fine game, and Jack Lonie had probably his best game for the club kicking four, a personal best. Hugh Goddard started slowly but improved as the game went on. Logan Austin was solid, as he has been in most games he has played. This season from hell will soon be over-but watch out Kangaroos-with the Saints finally indicating that they will be more competitive in 2019. Hope always springs eternal!!

 

Go Saints!!

 

St. Kilda:   1.3   6.6   10.9   11.10 (76)

Hawthorn:   4.4   7.5   12.6   12.8 (80

 

Goals

 

St. Kilda: Lonie 4, Membrey 2, Steele, Billings, Paton, Newnes, Gresham.

Hawthorn: Gunston 4, McEvoy 2, Bruest 2, Burgoyne, Worpel, Impey, Nash.

 

Best

 

St. Kilda: Steele, Lonie, Ross, Billings, Gresham.

Hawthorn: Gunston, O’Meara, Burgoyne, McEvoy, Mitchell.

 

Umpires: Glouftsis, Margetts, Williamson.

 

Crowd: 24,795.

 

Our Votes: Gunston 3 (Hawthorn), Steele 2 (St. Kilda), Lonie 1 (St. Kilda).

 

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