ST KILDA has delivered a fresh blow to Melbourne’s faltering AFL season with an inspired 40-point win at the MCG.
The Demons led by three points early in the second quarter but the slick Saints piled on eight unanswered goals to set up the 15.5 (95) to 7.13 (55) win in front of 35,558 fans on Saturday.
Alan Richardson’s men harassed their opponents from start to finish in a lively performance that moved them to a 4-1 record that seemed unlikely to many outside the club before the season.
It was another uneven performance from Melbourne who was widely tipped to challenge for the premiership this season.
They are in a hole at 1-4 with four days to prepare for their Anzac Day eve clash with Richmond.
Jack Billings led the way for St Kilda with 28 possessions and two goals, with Seb Ross (27 disposals) and Shane Savage (27) also prominent, while Tim Membrey booted four goals.
Clayton Oliver (31 possessions) and Angus Brayshaw (27) were influential for the Demons, who struggled to get a contribution across the board once again in a frustrating start to the season.
Braydon Preuss was lively with two first-quarter goals, but Membrey matched him with a couple of his own as the Saints edged to a four-point lead at the first break.
The Demons pressed early in the second term but let themselves down time and again with skill errors.
The Saints didn’t need to be asked twice and went about taking the game away from Simon Goodwin’s men, who were made to look lacklustre and disorganised at times.
Billings made it a 15-point St Kilda lead at halftime and back-to-back goals to former Melbourne forward Dean Kent rubbed salt in the wounds as the margin blew out to 45 points at three-quarter time.
The Demons offered some resistance after the restart with a couple of goals to Jake Melksham, but that effort soon dissipated, leaving the Saints to enjoy an impressive win.
© AAP 2019
ST KILDA 4.1 7.2 12.5 15.5 (95)
MELBOURNE 3.3 4.5 4.8 7.13 (55)
Goals: St Kilda: T Membrey 4 D Kent 3 J Billings 2 J Bruce 2 B Acres B Long J Lonie M Parker. Melbourne: B Preuss 2 J Melksham 2 A Brayshaw C Petracca J Harmes.
Umpires: Ray Chamberlain, David Harris, Alex Whetton.
Official Crowd: 35,558 at MCG.