AFL 2021: St Kilda’s late-game flurry buries West Coast

An irresistible St Kilda outfit has stunned West Coast to reverse a 33-point third

quarter deficit and breathe new life into their 2021 campaign.

The Eagles wilted under the Saints’ feverish pressure and relentless attack on the footy, the home team running away 20-point winners after kicking the last eight goals of the game.

Dominating possession for the bulk of the game, the Saints struggled to get reward on the scoreboard, before a Dan Butler-inspired third quarter burst ignited the home crowd.

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Only inaccuracy cost the Saints the lead at the final change, eight shots at goal in the last 10 minutes resulting in a wasteful 3.5, Butler saving their blushes with two in that stretch.

The avalanche continued to start the fourth, with goals to Max King and Tim Membrey giving the Saints their first lead since the 23-minute mark of the first quarter. As the goals piled up, it was the captain Jack Steele who put the icing on the cake at the 22-minute mark, snapping one home from the top of the goalsquare to cap off a 33-disposal, best-on-ground performance.

A dominant five goal game from King and bounce back performances from Butler and Bradley Hill ensured the “embarrassed” Saints from seven days earlier responded in the most emphatic fashion possible.

MARSHALL’S MIRACULOUS RECOVERY

Making his first appearance of the season, star ruckman Rowan Marshall’s day appeared over by the midway point of the second quarter. Recovering from a stress related injury in his right foot, Marshall hobbled from the ground after competing in a contest on the far side of the ground. Removing his boot and in visible pain, Marshall went down the race seemingly done for the day. To the relief of St Kilda fans, Marshall emerged from halftime to take his spot at the centre bounce, playing out the game.

BRADLEY BOUNCES BACK

After copping criticism for his slow start to the season, Bradley Hill was back to his damaging best on Saturday evening. Known for his aerobic ability, Hill provided constant drive to finish with 26 disposals and 510 metres gained in his best performance of the young 2021 season.

EAGLES EARLY INJURY BLOW

Replacing former skipper Shannon Hurn as the sub, West Coast’s Isiah Winder joined the

exclusive first kick, first goal club in the second quarter, taking advantage of a Hill error. Attempting to clear the defensive fifty, Hill fired off an errant handball as the three Eagles closed in on him. Deflected by Kennedy, the ball fell into the hands of Winder, who calmly snapped it home from the top of the goalsquare before being mobbed by his teammates.

PETRUCELLE’S CRUMBING MAGIC

Speedy Eagles forward Jack Petrucelle was looked threatening all afternoon, producing a goal of the week contender in the second quarter. Executing a one-two with Jack Redden at the edge of the centre square, Petrucelle burned away from Callum Wilkie and Zak Jones before executing a miraculous inside out checkside goal on his right foot at full speed from 40 metres out. Pure class.

ST KILDA 4.2 5.5 10.11 15.12 (102)

def

WEST COAST 6.2 10.3 13.3 13.4 (82)

GOALS

Saints: King 5, Butler 3, Billings 2, Membrey 2, McKenzie, Steele, Higgins

Eagles: Petrucelle 4, Allen 2, Darling 2, Kennedy 2, Cripps, Ryan, Winder

KANE PITMAN’S BEST

Saints: Steele, King, Crouch, Butler, Hill, Billings, Jones

Eagles: McGovern, Kelly, Naitanui, Petrucelle, Redden, Sheed

KANE PITMAN’S VOTES

3 — J Steele

2 — M King

1 — B Hill

INJURIES

Saints: Nil

Eagles: Hurn (calf)

UMPIRES: Andrew Stephens, David Harris, Brent Wallace

VENUE: Marvel Stadium

Originally published asUnder-fire Hill ignites Saints’ season

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