Saints upset Bombers in thumping win
St Kilda small forward Stephen Milne kicked five goals in his 250th AFL game as the Saints moved into the top eight with an outstanding 71-point win over Essendon on Saturday night.
St Kilda’s 21.7 (133) to 8.14 (62) victory at Etihad Stadium was a triple blow for the Bombers, who suffered just their fourth loss from 14 games but were also forced to substitute key forward Michael Hurley out of the game in the third term with a hamstring problem.
Essendon also dropped out of the top four as a result of their loss.
Milne was chaired off the field as the Saints celebrated their first win in their past five matches against the Bombers.
St Kilda skipper Nick Riewoldt was instrumental with a four-goal performance plus 24 disposals and 11 marks.
Midfielders Lenny Hayes and Nick Dal Santo were also dominant for the Saints, who improved their win-loss record to 7-7.
Courtenay Dempsey and ruckman David Hille were two of the better players for Essendon.
Despite Essendon’s 18-12 dominance in the inside-50s, the Bombers were outscored four goals to three in the opening term including two majors to St Kilda big man Justin Koschitzke.
Arryn Siposs kicked two of St Kilda’s five goals in the second term as the home side surged ahead by 23 points.
The Saints took charge again in the third term with six goals to Essendon’s two, as Milne ducked and weaved his way to four goals for the quarter.
A goal on the run from outside 50 metres from Riewoldt was another highlight.
Essendon’s Heath Hocking landed a high hip-and-shoulder bump on St Kilda’s Lenny Hayes behind the play in the third quarter and Hayes was knocked to the ground and briefly left the field. The Saints scored their 12th goal from the resultant downfield free kick.
Hocking is expected to face heavy scrutiny from the match-review panel over his clash with Hayes.
Essendon’s woes continued when Kyle Reimers staggered off with concussion after an accidental head clash with St Kilda’s Tom Simpkin.
Leading by 46 points at three-quarter time, the Saints kept working hard with a six-goal final term to Essendon’s one major.
The game was interrupted at the 15-minute mark by a male intruder who was able to run all the way to the centre of the field before being intercepted by a security guard.
Essendon face Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium next Saturday while the Saints travel to Brisbane to play the Lions later that night.© AAP 2013