In This Round…NAB Cup Round 2

By Tom Briglia

On the Thursday of each week in the lead-up to a St Kilda match, we take a stroll down memory lane and take a look at memorable clash in St Kilda history from the corresponding round.

St Kilda vs Carlton, Ansett Australia Cup Round 2, 1995
St Kilda 12.11 (83)
Carlton 12.10 (82)
At Waverley

The Blues were smarting after a disappointing 1994 finals campaign, and came up against a new-look St Kilda side featuring youngsters such as Joel Smith, Aussie Jones, Steven Sziller and Port Adelaide import Darryl Wakelin, joining twin brother Shane.

This was a time when pre-season games were still treated quite seriously and rarely threw up the same kinds of surprises as today’s version does. And so, as expected, Carlton spent much of the game in control with a superior midfield headed by Craig Bradley, and by three-quarter time were boasting a commanding lead.
Of course, pre-season matches never really rival the intensity and willing of a home-and-away season clash, and so the game should have been settled then.

But something strange happened in the final quarter. The young Saints piled on 6 goals; they would find a two-point lead when Joel Smith ran into an open goal with twenty seconds left on the clock and kicked truly. It seemed as if a miracle victory had been achieved.

But there was one more twist.

From the final bounce, a Bradley clearance found forward Brad Pearce, who in turn ran at goal through traffic, and with the defining kick of the match hooked his shot to the right, and he could only manage a behind.

And St Kilda had won by the same margin.

Links:
The frantic finish can be viewed here.

Some footage of the game, including last-quarter goals featuring Austinn Jones and Joel Smith’s winner, can be found amongst this highlights compilation, which also contains a number of highlights from the 1996 Ansett Australia Cup (including the Final which was also against Carlton; these matches can be distinguished by St Kilda wearing the then-new “cross” jumper).

Other installments of “In This Round”:
NAB Cup Round 1 – Collingwood vs St Kilda, Telstra Dome, 2006