The AFL pre-season officially kicked off on Thursday night as St Kilda defeated Hawthorn.
St Kilda fans flooded into RSEA Park Thursday night to see the saints play their Marsh community series clash against Hawthorn.
Expecting to see good things from 19 year old key forward, Max King, who didn’t live up to fans expectations he set last week where he bagged 4 goals in a intra-club match.
Instead they got a glimpse of the steady game-play that Max has to offer in just his second year in the AFL.
A stellar performance from forward Tim Membrey sealed the win for St Kilda who defeated Hawthorne 17.9 (111) to 13.12 (90) with the stand-in skipper being at the forefront of St Kilda’s attack.
Membrey booted 4 goals for the saints and was a marking force to be reckoned with out there, catching almost every ball that came his way.
Jack Lonie booted four aswell and Dan Butler showed that while he only kicked one goal, he can offer plenty of options for plenty of forward pressure, with Ben Long looking really good after a position shift to half-back.
Bradley Hill was another shining light, with the three-time premiership player showing just how much impact he can have on the game
The Hawks didn’t win, and they lost Ben McEvoy to a corked thigh early on, but it wasn’t all bad news.
Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell played three quarters before he took to the bench to ice up, with the midfielder winning the first clearance of the game (five overall) and 21 disposals.
Tom Scully also got moving to end with 19, while Jon Patton came in and out of the contest doing enough to make an impression
And, Isaac Smith kicked a couple with Luke Breust chiming in the second half to end with three, while Jaeger O’Meara played limited minutes in the first half for 10 disposals.
The Saints were missing Jarryn Geary (calf), Dylan Roberton (corked knee), Jimmy Webster (managed), Dan Hannebery (managed) and Zak Jones (wisdom teeth), while Shaun Burgoyne and James Sicily were out for the Hawks.
Newbies show potential
St Kilda: Bradley Hill was the pick of the Saints’ newbies, although he’s hard to miss with his trademark speed and flare when he pumps the ball inside 50. His cousin Paddy Ryder showed flashes of his best tap work after starting forward and impressed with bruising tackles on Tom Mitchell and James Worpel in the third quarter.
Dan Butler also tackled hard and gave a spark up forward while Dougal Howard was steady in defence despite having to shake off a shoulder stinger from a big collision with Damon Greaves. Max King went quiet after his first quarter goal and Ryan Abbott was solid in the half he played.
Final scores and stats
ST KILDA 7.2 9.2 13.6 17.9 (111)
HAWTHORN 5.3 8.8 10.10 13.12 (90)
St Kilda: Lonie 4, Membrey 4, Marshall 2, Kent, King, Gresham, Dunstan, Butler, Clark, Marsh
Hawthorn: Breust 3, Patton 3, Smith 2, Lewis 2, O’Brien, Puopolo, Scully
St Kilda: Membrey, Gresham, Dunstan, Hill, Butler, Lonie
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Smith, Breust, Ceglar, Scully, Patton
St Kilda: Nil
Hawthorn: McEvoy (corked thigh)
Umpires: Gavine, Findlay, Harris, Dore
Official crowd: 8187 at RSEA Park
The Saints and Hawks will meet again on Friday, February 28 in a bushfire fundraising match in Morwell before their next Marsh hitouts. Then, the Saints will return to Morwell to play Collingwood on Sunday, March 8 and the Hawks will head to Tasmania to play Melbourne in Launceston on Friday, March 6th.
With the new season starting just next month, you can expect a lot more AFL coverage from myself covering all teams and all the latest scores, stats and news that the AFL has to offer. The 2020 AFL kicks off Sunday March 22nd.