St Kilda have secured fourth spot on the ladder and a double chance after demolishing Essendon by 108 points at Telstra Dome on Sunday afternoon. Going into the match the Saints were required to win by around 100 points to overtake Adelaide on percentage and steal fourth place.
The Saints took a 61 point lead into the final change and needed to coming home strong to ensure they would increase their percentage higher than that of Adelaide. With Stephen Milne leading from the front, kicking 6 second half goals, St Kilda slammed on seven unanswered final quarter goals to oust Adelaide from fourth spot.
Ross Lyon’s men looked determined to snatch fourth spot early in the match and after Paddy Ryder kicked the opening goal of the match the Saints banged on five of the next six goals. Lenny Hayes and Nick Reiwoldt dominated play in the first quarter and when latter kicked his second deep into time-on the Saints took a 20 point advantage into the first break.
A low scoring second quarter saw Essendon held goalless and the Saints kick poorly in front of the big sticks to kick 3 goals, 7 behinds to lead by 7 goals at the main break.
The Saints put the pedal down in the third term, with Stephen Milne slamming on 3 of the Saints 6 goals to give them a 61 point lead at the final change and a sniff at fourth spot.
The Milne show rolled on in the last quarter and after he and Gram shared two goals each, the star forward slotted his seventh and the crowd knew that fourth spot was almost theirs. When retiring Bomber Adam Ramanauskas marked at the 20 minute mark it looked as though he could spoil the Saints party, but he missed and then Adam Schneider seal the deal for the Saints with a great mark and goal. Riewoldt, who dominated all day, marked and goaled after the siren to put the icing on the cake for the Saints.
Both teams remained on the ground after the match to pay tribute to Bomber retirees Adam Ramanauskas, Mal Michael, Jason Johnson and Damien Peverill.
St Kilda: Milne 7, Riewoldt 4, Gram 3, Schneider 2, Eddy, Gardiner, Goddard, King, Montagna
Essendon: Johnson, Lloyd, Magin, Ryder, Watson
St Kilda: Milne, Gram, Riewoldt, Goddard, Koschitzke, Hayes, Fisher
Essendon: Ramanauskas, Peverill, Lonergan, Watson
St Kilda: Dempster (knee), Schneider (cork) but returned to field, Riewoldt (knee) but returned to field
Essendon: Lloyd (hamstring) but returned to field
Umpires: Nicholls, Head, Keating