Despite coming off their first loss of the season against Fremantle a week earlier, the Saints entered their Round Four clash with Hawthorn full of confidence. After three games decided by a grand aggregate of 17-points, they were well versed in tight contests which would come in handy with this one remaining in the balance right up until the final siren.
|AFL 2019: Richo’s Post Match Presser – Round Four v Hawthorn|
|AFL 2019: Another Heartstopper – Round Four v Hawthorn.|
Hawthorn would get the better of the game’s early exchanges and would kick two of the first three goals of the game through Tom Scully and Conor Nash. Jack Lonie would separate the two Hawk goals with his first of the afternoon and would follow them with his first behind. Unfortunately, he would not be able to maintain this one for one ratio for the entire game. Lonie’s first miss would ultimately prove the start of a seven-point play with Ben Long intercepting the kick in and kicking a goal to level the scores. When Matty Parker tackled Luke Breust two minutes later, it would set off a possession chain that ended with Blake Acres all alone in the goal square kicking the Saints into the lead.
Goals either side of the quarter time break from Ricky Henderson and Jarryd Roughead saw the lead exchanged once more before Seb Ross and Ben Long grabbed it back with two goals in three minutes. An answer from Paul Puopolo and three St Kilda behinds, two from Lonie, looked set to ensure the teams would be level again at half time just as they were at the first break. Instead a mark and fifty metre penalty to Ricky Henderson saw the Hawk kick his team six points clear after the half time siren.
When Hawthorn kicked the first three goals of the third quarter, and took a 26-point lead, they appeared to have taken a stranglehold on the contest. It would prove instead to be the beginning of the end for Alastair Clarkson’s men. A goal to Jack Newnes got the ball rolling for the Saints but was answered almost immediately by Tom Scully but this would prove to be the last shot in the chamber for the Hawks. When Lonie and Josh Bruce, goaled in quick time the margin was back to 11 points at the last change.
The final quarter would be all St Kilda but inaccuracy would prevent them from putting the game to bed. Rowan Marshall bobbed up early with a goal and behind in the opening two minutes to reduce the margin to four points. Newnes and Lonie would halve this with minor scores, before Jack Gunston missed the Hawks last chance for a goal. His miss quickly compounded when Lonie put the Saints in front and improve his personal score to 3.5 for the day. Minutes later Jack Sinclair looked to have iced it but the goal review system would overturn the goal umpires decision. Tim Membrey would also miss in the games dying minutes to slam the door shut but the Saints would hold on. The final siren sounding to confirm a brave, hard-fought, five-point victory.