Saints beat Freo in tight match - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints beat Freo in tight match

By James Dampney 08/05/2004 07:05:20 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda responded to another major test of its AFL premiership credentials in commanding style, overcoming Fremantle 14.11 (95) to 11.6 (72) at Subiaco Oval to remain undefeated this season.

Some had expected a let-down from the Saints after last week's impressive comeback win over Brisbane, coupled with the suspensions of captain Lenny Hayes and fellow young-gun Justin Koschitzke.

But St Kilda easily discarded the Dockers, who came into the match with a 5-1 record, a near full-strength list and a four-game winning streak of their own.

Fremantle had only lost one of its last 14 home games entering Saturday, while St Kilda hadn't tasted success in Perth since round 12, 2001, but that all counted for little in front of a record non-derby crowd of 39,931.

The Dockers did kick five straight goals in the last quarter to draw within 15 points, but they had been thoroughly outplayed for the majority of the afternoon as St Kilda earned its seventh straight win.

The Saints played an almost flawless first half of football, holding Fremantle score-less in the second term and to just one goal to halftime, piling on eight majors of their own to open up a match-winning 42-point lead at the long break.

After weeks of intense scrutiny over rape allegations, Stephen Milne got the perfect football tonic following the announcement police would not be pressing charges, kicking the game's first goal and finishing with three.

From there St Kilda enjoyed a dominant first quarter, completely suffocating Fremantle's attempts to get the ball inside 50m in a classy opening to the game.

The visitors piled on four goals early, with Freo finally getting a major on the board when Shaun McManus kicked truly on the run.

But if the Subiaco faithful thought things could only improve they were gravely mistaken, with Fremantle unable to register a point in the second term as St Kilda piled on 4.4.

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