An undermanned St Kilda have snatched a gutsy eight-point AFL win over Greater Western Sydney in slippery conditions at Giants Stadium.
The Saints, whose list of injured absentees included Zak Jones, Dan Hannebery, Max King, James Frawley, Rowan Marshall and Jarryn Geary led for the majority of the third term.
But Harry Himmelberg, asked to step up in the aftermath of 2019 Coleman medallist Jeremy Cameron’s departure to Geelong, slotted goals either side of three-quarter time to put the Giants in front.
Himmelberg and St Kilda key forward Tim Membrey each kicked three goals, belying conditions that made marking the ball difficult.
Jack Billings tallied a game-high 30 disposals for the Saints, while teammates Jade Gresham and Hunter Clark were also influential.
Momentum ebbed and flowed during a hectic final quarter of the wet-weather contest, which the visitors won 13.8 (86) to 11.12 (78).
A late goal from GWS utility Lachlan Keeffe ensured the game was in the balance throughout the final four minutes.
Dan Butler, the Saints’ leading goal-kicker in 2020, produced the game-sealing effort with 40 seconds remaining.
Butler raced in and knocked the ball loose from Callan Ward’s grasp, earning a holding-the-ball free kick.
Butler nailed his resultant set shot, ensuring the Saints banked their first win at the venue.
Captains Stephen Coniglio and Jack Steele had a fascinating midfield battle; both got plenty of the ball yet failed to bust the game open.
Toby Greene, one of numerous players from both sides to spray shots out on the full, was unable to spark the Giants.
Greene did however put in an early nomination for mark of the year in the first quarter that resulted in the game’s opening goal as he climbed above Dougal Howard to snatch a screamer.
Ruckman Matt Flynn excelled on debut for the Giants, helping himself to 34 hitouts and 18 disposals.
Flynn sent a scare through the Giants’ camp when he limped off in the third quarter, but he quickly returned to the fray.