Despite coming into the contest on the back of three consecutive victories, St Kilda’s Round 10 clash with the Suns would live up to its danger game status. After the previous three meetings between the teams being decided by a grand total of seven points, this one too would go down to the wire. With second spot on the ladder on offer this time, this nailbiting victory was decidedly more valuable than the trio that preceded it.
Will Powell opened the scoring in this one with a miracle effort from the boundary giving the home team an early advantage. With running goals from close range, Dean Kent and Jade Gresham brought about the first lead change of the night after 12 minutes. Behinds to Jack Billings and Dan Butler would be the difference between the two sides when Touk Miller converted a running chance. A kick in as a result of a Hugh Greenwood miss would set up the last score of the final term, with Hunter Clarke, Brad Hill, combining to move the ball out of defence. A strong mark on the wing gave Tim Membrey a chance to drive the ball inside attacking 50. His long bomb clearing the waiting pack and was swooped upon by Nick Hind who set up Jack Steele to stroll in for the Saints third goals of the quarter.
Swift movement out of defence would be the backdrop of the Saints opening goal of the second term with Rowan Marshall the beneficiary on this occasion. When Max King kicked truly after a free-kick, the margin was out to 18-points. It would prove to be the biggest lead of the night but the Saints would not be able to enjoy it long. Just as the contest looked to be heading to an inevitable St Kilda victory, the Suns would turn the match on its head.
A run of four goals in 12 minutes, giving the home team an eight-point advantage heading into half time and Alex Sexton had the opportunity to extend it further. His missed chance would prove to be an 11-point turnaround with the Saints scoring through a Dan Butler Goal of the Week nomination from the resulting kick in.
The third quarter would again see the Saints build and fritter away a multiple-goal lead. Their lead would balloon out to 15-points after goals to Josh Battle, Steele, and Butler. Back to back goals in time on to Izak Rankine and Noah Anderson saw it reduced to just three points and ensured that the Suns entered the final term with all the momentum.
Despite having the first six entries of the fourth quarter, it would be St Kilda who conceded the first goal of the term through Will Powell. When Ben King added another two minutes later, the epic battle was in danger of slipping away from the Saints. A Touk Miller miss soon after would prove to be the let off they needed. Two quick ones through Butler and Battle handed them the lead and when the former Tiger kicked his second of the term they had some brief breathing space. It would be enough though, a late Rankine goal not enough for the Suns to steal it late.