The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 9 – Fremantle v St Kilda: Saints or Sinners?

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Fremantle versus St Kilda

6.40pm, Friday, May 25

Subiaco Oval, Perth



MY NIGHT AT THE FOOTY got off to an unusual start. One of the St Kilda players got onto the train at North Fremantle. He was an injured player. Running into a fit Saint anywhere really would be remarkable. Dual South Fremantle fairest-and-best winner Clint Jones was rookie-listed by the Saints for this season and had made his way onto the main list for three AFL games, before being injured. He was off to see his team with a couple of friends. Despite his Riewoldt looks, fans didn’t rush him. But he was, like the rest us, crushed as the train took on more and more passengers – I haven’t had the Tokyo peak hour experience but I have an idea of what it would be like.


A short ceremony marked the celebration of the Indigenous round, featuring WA greats Polly Farmer, Barry Cable, Ted Kilmurray, Bill Dempsey and Stephen Michael. The game began with high intensity. It was 45 seconds before someone got a kick and 12 minutes until someone, fittingly Troy Cook, scored a major.


Des Headland nailed another from outside fifty, Peter Bell snapped a left-footer after a perfect ruck tap from Aaron Sandilands and the floodgates were opened. Freo scored the first six goals of the game and Robert Harvey pinged a hammy – it was about as bad a start as St Kilda could have imagined. A late goal from Fraser Gehrig provided scant relief.


In the second quarter, the Saints created more chances. In fact both teams did, but it was a quarter of missed opportunities. St Kilda scored 1.7 and while Fremantle managed just two straight goals, Chris Tarrant twice sent shots out on the full. It was uninspiring but the Saints had managed to stay in the game.


During the third quarter they had the chance to make things really interesting, but were again thwarted by poor kicking for goal. Fremantle went into the last break with a handy 23-point lead. Nick Riewoldt was a consistent danger but while he set up scoring chances for others, his personal inaccuracy – he registered four behinds – was costly.


Fremantle gained the ascendancy again in the final quarter. There were periods when no one was in the St Kilda forward line – is that what they call flooding? Highlights included an exquisite running goal from close to the boundary by Heath Black and the manic work of Bell, who is playing like a man determined to get his team back on season’s track. And in fairness to West Coast, the club I chastised after their boorish behaviour in Round 3, I must report that a St Kilda player couldn’t resist an exchange with fans behind the bench after he was taken from the ground in the last quarter, having again lowered his colours to Antoni Grover. It was Gehrig, who often gives the impression he hates playing football.


The win did no more for Fremantle than buy some time; we’ll know they’re back when they pull off a big away-win which may set off a string of victories. The Saints, meanwhile, will be limping for a while yet but they have unearthed some good youngsters, notably Sam Gilbert and David Armitage.



Fremantle 6.6 8.6 10.9 15.11 (101)

St Kilda      1.4 2.11 5.16 6.19 (55)



Fremantle: Bell, Tarrant, Pavlich 3, Cook, Headland, Collard, Johnson, Black, Solomon.
St Kilda: Gehrig, Riewoldt, Gilbert, Del Santo, Rix, Koschitzke.



Fremantle: Bell, McPharlin, Hasleby, Hayden, Grover, Sandilands.

St Kilda: Riewoldt, Gilbert, Del Santo, Fiora, Hayes, L. Fisher.



Blake (St Kilda) 100 games; Chamberlain (umpire) 50 games.



Collard (Fremantle).



Margetts, Chamberlain, McInerney.



Bell (F) 3, McPharlin (F) 2, Hasleby (F) 1.



Hasleby (F) 3, Bell (F) 2, Riewoldt (St. K) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

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