Thankfully for St Kilda, history has repeated itself.

Almost one year ago to the day after they overturned a 31-point deficit to defeat Gold Coast, the Saints have done exactly the same thing.

Early in the third quarter at Townsville's Riverway Stadium on Saturday, it looked like a disaster for Alan Richardson's men, wasting the ball going inside 50, dropping uncontested marks, and sporting the plucky Suns the identical 31-point head-start in north Queensland's heat.

But in a see-sawing final term, the Saints hung on to win 11.14 (80) to 11.10 (76) to level their season at 6-6 and keep their finals hopes alive.

It was the third straight match between the clubs St Kilda has won by less than a goal and for the Suns, meant a ninth straight defeat.

But the Saints made hard work of things.

Jack Billings (33 disposals) was sensational for the victors, kicking two goals in the final quarter to ultimately prove the difference.

His 55m bomb off one step at the 19-minute mark gave his team a seven-point lead – one they would not relinquish.

Alex Sexton answered with a clever snap, but Billings was on hand again to handle the pressure with a set shot from 30m. 

There were some nervous moments late though as Tim Membrey – terrific with three goals – missed a set shot from close range with 30 seconds left.

It gave Gold Coast one more chance to launch an attack, but it was unable to get the ball past half-forward.

David Swallow (31 touches) was prolific, while Lachie Weller (27) provided dash from half-back.

Teenager Ben King showed why he was taken with the sixth pick in last year's draft with an exceptional first half before running out of legs late in the match.

Manned by veteran Nathan Brown, King helped give his team the lead with two goals from four set shots.

St Kilda was terribly wasteful, particularly in the second term when it had the run of play, kicking just two goals from 29 inside 50 entries for the half.

Josh Bruce and Membrey were both guilty of dropping uncontested marks inside 30m, while the repeated long kicks to congestion were cleared by a well-organised Gold Coast back six. 

One highlight was the 50m goal by debutant Nick Hind, who was mobbed by his teammates after flushing his set shot early in the second quarter.


GOLD COAST   3.5   5.6   8.9  11.10 (76)
ST KILDA  0.2   2.5    7.8    11.14 (80)

Gold Coast: 
King 2, Wright 2, Holman 2, Powell, Martin, Day, Sexton, Miles
St Kilda: Membrey 3, Billings 2, Kent 2, Dunstan, Hind, Gresham, Battle,

Gold Coast:
 Swallow, Weller, Martin, Brodie, Fiorini, Ah Chee
St Kilda: Billings, Membrey, Ross, Dunstan, Kent, Gresham, Marshall

Gold Coast
: Nil
St Kilda: Nil 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Foot, Power, Whetton, Harris

Official crowd: 7243 at Riverway Stadium, Townsville