Round 3 – St Kilda v Essendon: Saints victory the icing on the cake!


Well, the end to a good start ended sooner than I hoped in our match against the Saints as St Kilda celebrated their 150th anniversary with a good win over my Bombers at the MCG on Saturday night.


The St Kilda Football Club provided an excellent start to the game to fire up the crowd with the pre-match entertainment and introduction of past players and greats to a crowd of nearly 70,000. If that wasn’t enough to inspire the Saints to play with spirit, and a belief in winning cheered on by their passionate fans then nothing would inspire them. Well done St Kilda!


It was always a danger match for the Dons and with the fired up Saints leading the match from the fore. They shell-shocked the Bombers by kicking the first five goals before Essendon kicked their first major, a start we were not hoping for,  and one we would not overcome though we did draw level with the Saints early in the final quarter. The Bombers were always playing catch up footy but that’s not to take anything away from St Kilda as the Bombers should have known the Saints would burst out of the starting blocks on such an auspicious occasion. Essendon  should have been prepared for it, but they were not!


The Saints, first to the ball, made the Dons look slow, and with their talls seemingly marking every kick with ease or little contest highlighted the fact the Bombers were probably a tall down. They certainly missed the improved Zerk-Thatcher with the backs constantly under bombardment as the ball moved quickly and continually zipped forwards.


The small forwards of the Saints were everywhere particularly at the drop of the ball either taking many marks or crumbing the ball – playing in front has advantages with Higgins and Butler both kicking  four goals showed the way. D’Ambrosio will learn from his mauling by the smalls up forward.


Essendon struggled in attack. Both Weideman and Stringer looked underdone with neither exerting any influence on the game.


Nothing seems to be going right for Harrison Jones at the moment, he missed fairly easy set shots, dropping marks he should hold, and was eventually subbed out of the game in the third quarter. He possibly needs a spell in the VFL to gain confidence particularly if Patrick Voss had another good day up forward to deserve a chance in the ones.  Voss did – he has kicked 9 goals in two matches and must be knocking on the door for selection.


After two good weeks disposal wise, we were let down by too many turnovers and poor kicking in this match. The number of times a Bombers player picked out a Saints player by himself was numerous, beyond belief and inexcusable, and very frustrating for supporters.


Although many players were down on form, Alwyn Davey Jnr was an exception, and the continuing improvement in his game is a pleasure to watch. He is fast becoming a player of the future.


On reflection the result could have been much worse. Except for some occasional  flashes of brilliance in our play, we did not play well at all.


Congratulations to the Saints on a fine win to celebrate their 150th anniversary.



ST KILDA       5.4    7.5    9.7    14.8 (92)
ESSENDON     1.1    4.5    6.6    11.8 (74)


St Kilda: Higgins 4, Butler 4, Wood, Owens, Caminiti, Gresham, Windhager, Hill
Essendon: Perkins 2, Caldwell 2, Shiel 2, Langford, Stringer, Menzie, Martin, Parish


St Kilda: Wood, Wilkie, Marshall, Ross, Crouch, Higgins
Essendon: Kelly, Ridley, Parish, Merrett, Shiel, Martin


St Kilda: Webster (head), Wood (shoulder)
Essendon: Davey (head)


St Kilda: Ben Paton (replaced Zaine Cordy in the third quarter)
Essendon: Nick Hind (replaced Harrison Jones in the third quarter)
Crowd: 69,255 at the MCG



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About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.

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