It is fair to say that its been difficult to separate St Kilda and Gold Coast in recent times. In fact, following 4, 4, 1 & 2 point results, the Saints nine-point win on Saturday represents the biggest margin between the sides in their last five games. Not that it was anyway easier than the previous quartet of matches with the Saints needing to overturn a 3/4 Time deficit for the third time during this stretch.
The opening quarter was a slog with the Suns efforts to slow down the contest effective in preventing the Saints run and spread but equally hindered their scoring opportunities too. Ben King kicked the only goal for the term, to give the home team a seven-point lead at the first break. When he and Izak Rankine kicked truly either side of a Jack Steele goal, it looked like the home team may have won the arm wrestle. Instead, it would prove a brief moment of superiority, scores would be level at halftime after goals to Jack Billings and Max King.
The third quarter would be a carbon copy of the second with the Saints seemingly wrestling control of the match with five of the first seven scores of the quarter before the Suns hit back. Unfortunately, they were only able to nose ahead by three points during this period with the teams kicking one goal a piece with King scoring his third and Steele his second. When the home team kicked three goals in five minutes late in the term, it appeared that the visitors wastefulness had cost them the match.
Nobody told Brad Crouch, Paddy Ryder, Hunter Clark, or Saints skipper Steele though. All four were instrumental in the final term turnaround. Billings with his second goal and Jack Higgins with his first brought the margin back to two points. Dominating clearances, possession, and territory, it seemed just a matter of time till they took the lead. So it would prove too, it might have taken ten minutes, with Paddy Ryder putting his team in front at the 16 minute mark. The result was all but secured when Brad Crouch goaled almost immediately afterwards though it would only be achieved after 11 nervy minutes of play until the siren sounded.