Saints march into Wizard Cup final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints march into Wizard Cup final

By Adam Cooper 06/03/2004 10:55:46 PM Comments (0)

The Saints marched into the AFL Wizard Cup grand final after thrashing bogey side Essendon in the second semi-final at Telstra Dome.

Electrifying from the start, St Kilda was never headed and recorded its first win over the Bombers since 1999 with a 42-point pasting, 2.16.12 (126) to 1.11.9 (84).

The Saints, who have won just the one night flag since their sole premiership of 1966, will now play Geelong in next Saturday's pre-season decider in a chance for both clubs to add to their bare trophy cabinet.

Just as significant for the season proper, the Saints had young stars Nick Riewoldt (four goals), Nick Dal Santo, Xavier Clarke and Luke Ball star in a sizzling all-round performance that left the Bombers demoralised.

St Kilda made a dream start through Brendon Goddard - another No.1 draft choice - who kicked a nine-pointer in the opening minutes of the game.

With Fraser Gehrig (five goals) and Aaron Hamill (two) twin focal points in attack and Stephen Milne (three) adding bite when the ball hit the deck, St Kilda was formidable.

Essendon made a couple of attempts to rally, most notably in the second term with four goals in eight minutes, but St Kilda had all the answers and ran out impressive winners.

Heath Black was brilliant around the ground, Aussie Jones added dash down the wing and Robert Harvey continually showed his poise to find teammates with pinpoint passes.

The Bombers pegged away and crept to within 24 points early in the last quarter when former Bulldog Mark Alvey goaled with his first kick as an Essendon player.

But David Hille, Brent Stanton, Matthew Lloyd, Joe Misiti and Adam Ramanauskas all missed shots in the next few minutes and, given a tougher attempt at the other end, Riewoldt threaded through a goal from the boundary line to seal St Kilda's win.

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