After 10 long years, the Saints wait for a finals victory came to an end in dramatic fashion at the Gabba in the Elimination Final against the Western Bulldogs. After leading by as much 26-points in the Third Quarter, they were forced to withsatnd a withering Bulldogs comeback to hold on by three points.
|AFL 2020: Ratts Post Match Presser – Elimination Final v Western Bulldogs.|
|AFL 2020: Monday’s Experts – Round 17 v West Coast.|
|AFL 2020: Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory – Round 17 v West Coast.|
A former Saint opened the scoring, with Josh Bruce kicking the Bulldogs first goal of the afternoon. The Saints opener through Tim Membrey came via, a defensive rebound and a contested mark by Jarryn Geary, two things that would become a recurring feature of the evening. Jason Johannisen put the Bulldogs ahead again through a set shot before Max King levelled things up again after a smart mark in the middle of a litter of dogs defenders. A free-kick to Hayden Crozier ensured Luke Beveridge’s men took a lead into the quarter time break. It would not be the last time a questionable umpiring decision would result in a Bulldogs goal.
Jack Lonie benefited from a Marcus Bontempelli brain fade ruck infringement at a boundary throw in that saw him run into an open goal. Mitch Wallis, like Crozier before the break, was able to extract a free-kick and retake the lead for his team. It would be short-lived, with Max King answering five minutes later. Paddy Ryder would give the Saints a bit of breathing room in time on and they would never be headed again.
The Saints took a seven-point lead into the half time break and extended it to 26-points during the third quarter, before taking a four-goal break into the final quarter. Tim Membrey’s second for the game got the ball rolling but it was not until the 13th minute that another goal would be scored when Jarryn Geary kicked his first. A second for Paddy Ryder, and a Dan Butler special rounded off the scoring for the term as the Saints put one foot into the Semi-Final against the Tigers.
The final quarter became a fraught experience for Saints fans as the Bulldogs kicked four goals to one and closed to within three points with two minutes to play. Fittingly, it would be Geary’s goal in the 12th minute of the term that would prove the decisive score with the skipper’s defensive forward role one of the decisive factors in the Saints victory.
|AFL 2020: Magic Moments – Round 18 v GWS.|
|AFL 2020: Tough As – Round 18 v GWS.|