Round 9 – St. Kilda v Essendon: Saints Alive; Well, After Half Time!

By Braham Dabscheck

Sunday 22 May 4.40 PM

Etihad Stadium


The Saints’ brains trust decided to change things around after last week. A tall, well a big lad, was substituted for a small in the forward line. Paddy McCartin came back into the side with Nick Riewoldt pushed back to the wing. Saint Nick called correctly at the toss against former Saint Brendan Goddard who now captains the Bombers. The two mates hugged and then lined up against each other on the wing with steely determination not to tackle each other. The only moment of discord for the former Saint occurred when Sam Fisher laid a hard bump in the last quarter. While there is no evidence to substantiate this I wondered if this was pay back for not laughing at a joke told many years ago at training. Stranger things have happened! Another former Saint, Jimmy Gwilt played in the back half for the Bombers, and was one of their better players.

Both teams were tentative in the first half. The contest on display seemed to be who could be the better exponent of kicking it to an unmarked opponent. It reminded me of the good old days when we played kick to kick at school. The Saints dominated most of the key statistics, other than kicking efficiency. In the first half the Saints won the inside 50s 39 to 19, but had only kicked five goals to the Bombers four. Both sides had missed what should have been goals from set shots. I had a bad feeling about how things would transpire in the second half.

The Bombers got the first goal after the main break. Eventually the Saints responded with Tom Hickey marking and hand passing to Josh Bruce in the goal square for an easy six pointer. The Bombers responded with another goal and I hopped aboard ‘The Good Ship High Anxiety’. And then it all changed. Paddy McCartin took a good grab on the 50 meter line. He decided to see if he could put it through. And note, he hasn’t actually been a sharp shooter; he missed an easy one earlier in the game. Well, it never looked in doubt. The switch had been flicked and I cancelled my boating trip. The Saints rattled on six in a row; two each to Paddy, Josh Bruce (three for the quarter) and Tim Membrey. One of Tim’s was from a spectacular hanger.

The best goal of the quarter involved Paddy McCartin. He was on the end of a series of accurate passes when he marked on the juncture of the boundary and 50 meter lines. He went back and took his time to have a shot. He then kicked a low flying dart (can you kick a dart? Let’s not get hang up on the vagaries of language) that Josh Bruce caught low down 20 meters out on a slight angle, which he easily converted. Paddy also showed his smarts in the last quarter. The ball was kicked into the Saints forward pocket and, between two players, he tapped the ball, a la a ruckman, to Joey Montagna who centered it to Tom Hickey who marked. The resulting goal was the icing on Tall Tom’s 50th game for the Saints.

The Saints dominated the second half. Things started to work; especially in the forward 50 with many marks taken. Paddy McCartin had his best game for the Saints and has provided an indication of his class. The most pleasing thing about the result is that the win occurred without Nick Riewoldt kicking any goals. He was effective around the ground with his poise. Jack Steven and Sebastian Ross dominated midfield contests. Ross seems to get better with every game. It was good to see the Saints bounce back after the debacle in the West. The Bombers however, for reasons everyone knows are a depleted side and the Saints achieved what they should have. Hopefully, this will be the start of a series of wins, with the Dockers at home next week.

Go Saints!


St. Kilda:     2.5   5.9   12.10   16.13 (109)

Essendon:   1.4   4.5    7.8   9.9 (63)



St. Kilda: Bruce 5, Membrey 3, McCartin 2, Steven, Ross, Newnes, Weller, Hickey, Armitage.

Essendon: Brown 4, Daniher 2, Baguley, Cooney, Langford.



St. Kilda: Steven, Ross, Bruce, Riewoldt, Montagna.

Essendon: Kelly, Brown, Zaharakis, McDonald-Tipungwiti, Goddard.


Umpires: Mitchell, Mollison, O’Gorman.


Crowd: 29,026.


Our Votes: Steven 3 (St. Kilda), Ross 2 (St. Kilda), Bruce 1 (St. Kilda).

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