Saints win tight AFL match
St Kilda withstood a much-improved performance from Melbourne to win their tight AFL match by 18 points at the MCG.
The Saints kicked the only two goals of the last term in the rain on Saturday night to beat the winless Demons 12.12 (84) to 10.6 (66).
Veteran St Kilda onballer Lenny Hayes was best afield with 25 possessions and 10 clearances.
Hayes also kicked a superb goal halfway through the last term after forcing his way past two opponents.
It was a key moment after the teams had battled ferociously for the vital opening goal of the last quarter in which the Demons ultimately failed to score a point.
Saints defender Jason Blake and midfielder Jack Steven limped off in the last quarter with leg injuries.
It was a fierce contest that deserved a lot more than the poor crowd of 24,798.
Stephen Milne kicked two goals in the first half to become the 50th player and only the fifth small forward to reach 500 AFL goals.
The goal umpire also signalled a goal for Milne in the second term when it clearly went through for a behind.
The value of the league’s new and controversial video review system was shown when the goal was overruled.
It was also used in the first quarter to rule that Saint Nick Dal Santo’s shot for goal was an obvious behind.
St Kilda kicked the first two goals of the third term to take a 16-point lead, but the Demons hit back with two of their own and trailed by three points at the last change.
Clint Bartram brought the Demons to within one kick with an outstanding running goal, kicking the ball with the outside of his boot on an acute angle.
Melbourne tagger Jordy McKenzie was driving Brendon Goddard to distraction with his physical tactics and the pair clashed repeatedly.
Goddard received a free kick during the third term against McKenzie, but the young Demon negated the Saints star’s influence.
The Demons pressured St Kilda throughout, but the Saints were able to score when it counted and they kicked the last two goals of the second term to lead by two points at halftime.
St Kilda’s Leigh Montagna will come under video review for an incident in the first term where opponent James Magner had to briefly leave the field under the blood rule.
While the Demons are now 0-5, they will take heart from beating St Kilda for total possessions, 338-326.© AAP 2013
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