In one of the biggest upsets of the season to date, a plucky St. Kilda snatched victory in the dying seconds of their match against league pacesetters Geelong in an enthralling contest at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night. Despite trailing by nine points late in the final quarter after some stirring football by the Cats, the young Saints willed themselves forward, scoring two brilliant late goals through Jade Gresham and Jack Steven to seal the Saints first victory over Geelong since 2010. This continues the Saints remarkable night game performance at Etihad where they have won more than 80% of their games in recent seasons. If only the Saints were so good at other times and places.
Geelong went into the game as red hot favorites with the bookmakers but St. Kilda was having none of it, going in hard at the football and their Geelong opponents to gain the early ascendancy. The Cats usual free-flowing style was stifled by some great contested work from the Saints midfield, giving them a well deserved 16 point lead at quarter time. Seven-gamer Darren Minchington turned the game on its head in the first half as he piled on three goals to extend the Saints lead to 24 points at half time, ably assisted by veterans Leigh Montana and Nick Riewoldt.
Geelong did what most football fans expected in the second half, picking up their work rate and showing some of the skill that had them tagged by many pundits as the wise pick to win this years premiership. Led by captain Joel Selwood, veteran defender Corey Enright, and some quality finishing by Lincoln McCarthy, Geelong took the lead in the third quarter before back-to-back goals by the Saints Maverick Weller once again had St. Kilda in front by 11 points at the final break.
The final quarter was a gripping contest with Geelong once again taking the lead and looking like they would break the Saints resolve that had been so evident all night. The young Saints had other ideas. Two great finishes from Gresham and Steven had the Saints back in front with five minutes to play. In an epic finish, Geelong had numerous chances to win but could not apply the finishing touches to their forward thrusts, the Saints back line standing tall as the siren sounded to preserve an exciting and well-deserved three-point win.
Geelong now get a week off before what should be a sensational Friday night clash with the Sydney Swans at Simonds Stadium in round 16, while the Saints look forward to an opportunity to keep their momentum rolling against the Gold Coast Suns next Saturday.
Scoreboard: St. Kilda 4.2 8.6 12.8 14.9 (93) Geelong 1.4 4.6 10.9 13.12 (90) Best Players: St Kilda: Steven, Ross, Riewoldt, Dunstan, Minchington, Gresham, Weller Geelong: Selwood, Dangerfield, Henderson, Blicavs, Taylor, Guthrie
Article last changed on Monday, June 27, 2016 - 11:40 AM EDT