Staring down the barrel of a 26-point deficit in the third quarter, the Saints looked down and out.

But with their backs to the wall, the boys in red, white and black clawed their way back to run away with the four points and reclaim the Blue Ribbon Cup.


It was Jack Lonie who put the home side in front at the 21-minute mark of the term, and despite several last-gasp surges forward from Alastair Clarkson’s men, the red, white and black stood tall.

The Saints’ silky mids similarly came to the fore, with Seb Ross taking out the Silk-Miller Memorial Medal for his best-afield performance (39 disposals, six clearances, one goal).

Young guns Jack Billings (34 disposals, six rebound 50s), Jade Gresham (26 disposals, five clearances) and Blake Acres (26 disposals, six inside 50s) were just as composed in key moments.

Callum Wilkie (21 disposals, three marks) was pertinent in repelling the Hawks late in the game, serving as the rock in defence when Hawthorn looked like regaining the lead.

LAST TWO MINUTES: Watch Sunday's nail-biting finish

Meanwhile, big man Rowan Marshall’s 18 disposals, 28 hit-outs and clinch goal helped kickstart the Saints’ fightback.

To cap off the emphatic victory, the Saints started without skipper Jarryn Geary (illness) before losing Daniel McKenzie early in the game (concussion).

LOUD AND PROUD: See the boys belt out the song

While there were standouts for the Saints, the insatiable hunger for victory and the fire within each and every Saint was evident.

And that fire will only continue to burn heading into Round 5, with Melbourne standing in the way of 4-1 figures next Saturday at the MCG.