On the Thursday of each week of St Kilda’s season, 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, Round 2, 1989
St Kilda 3.4, 7.10, 9.15, 13.18 (96)
Carlton 2.2, 7.3, 10.9, 13.14 (92)
Crowd: 27,796 at Moorabbin
Under coach Darrel Baldock, St Kilda appeared to have briefly picked itself up and out of the dark ages that were the 1980s. Throughout the decade, financial ruin and disastrous on-field performances had played lead roles, with a supporting cast of off-field legal sagas involving recruits Doug Cox, Silvio Foschini and Paul Morwood, and a string of failed coaches. The only thing that was evaded, it seemed – apart from success, of course – was an offer in 1985 to move to Western Australia as a privately-owned club.
The Saints’ flying start to 1989 was highlighted by a thrilling win against Carlton in Round 2 at Moorabbin. St Kilda was coming off a 1988 season that yielded the club its 25th wooden spoon (from 92 VFL seasons played); the Blues were just a half of football away from playing off for the premiership that year.
It would take a final minute goal courtesy of Tony Lockett to sink the Blues in front of a rapturous Moorabbin home crowd. An arm wrestle all day, both sides were locked at 69 points apiece at three-quarter time, with the inaccurate Saints carried by Lockett, who would finish with an incredible 10.7 for the match.
He would kick the winning goal from 45 metres out the near the boundary line after taking a difficult mark over the top of opponent Stephen Silvagni when Nicky Winmar floated a pass forward.
Following the siren, thousands of jubilant supporters ran onto the ground to celebrate the spectacular win with the players.
The match represented something of a microcosm of the success to come under coach Ken Sheldon (who incidentally played in this game and was a part of the movement up the ground that resulted in the winning goal), with Lockett on fire up forward, and youngsters Nathan Burke (25 possessions), Nicky Winmar (22 possessions and one goal), Danny Craven (21 possessions), Stewart Loewe (17 possessions and eight marks) and Jayson Daniels (19 possessions) all providing more than helpful assistance and a glimpse of seasons culminating in finals campaigns to come in 1991 and 1992.
As far as season 1989 was concerned, however, it was ultimately a disappointing rollercoaster ride. Six wins from the first ten matches were followed by ten straight losses; the Saints would be involved in nine matches that were decided by 10 points or less over the entire year, and they would win only three. Baldock would be sacked by season’s end, and a relatively young Ken Sheldon would step in and continue the reinvigoration of the Saints in the early 1990s.
Watch Tony Lockett’s 10th and winning goal of the match.
Other installments of “In This Round”:
Round 1 – St Kilda vs Geelong, Telstra Dome, 2004
NAB Cup Grand Final – St Kilda vs Carlton, Waverley, 1996
NAB Cup Semi-Final – Essendon vs St Kilda, Telstra Dome, 2008
NAB Cup Round 2 – St Kilda vs Carlton, Waverley, 1995
NAB Cup Round 1 – Collingwood vs St Kilda, Telstra Dome, 2006