- Tim Membrey was at the peak of his powers back in the heartland, with 24 disposals, 12 marks and four goals.
- 'Skunk' had the freedom to push further up the ground and work between the arcs to great effect.
- The 25-year-old served as stand-in skipper with Jarryn Geary out of the side.
Emerging from the race in front of a sea of red, white and black, Tim Membrey admits he “got a little bit of goosebumps” as the 8000-strong crowd welcomed the Saints’ men home.
But neither the pulsating crowd, nor the pressure as stand-in skipper fazed him, with the key forward piecing together a masterful display against the Hawks.
Membrey tied up his evening in the heartland with 24 disposals (12 contested), 12 marks (five contested), seven score involvements and four straight goals.
The fan-favourite’s hands were like glue – as we’ve come to expect – and the crowd roared louder with each shot sailing through the big sticks.
But most impressive was the No. 28’s sublime work-rate, with stints in the centre showcasing Skunk at the peak of his powers.
With Paddy Ryder, Rowan Marshall and Max King providing plenty of tall timber and the dangerous crumbing force of Jack Lonie, Dan Butler and Dean Kent to boot, Membrey relished the extra freedom to move further up the ground.
“I know we’ve got that support down there now, so it probably gives me a bit more of a license to get on my bike a bit and get to work in-between the arcs,” Membrey told saints.com.au.
“When I mark it, I know I can roll and get it into those guys.
“The way they play, compete and get the ball to ground looks really good.”
Membrey’s deadly field-kicking across the wings came to the fore to set up opportunities, with the red, white and black registering 17 majors for the evening.
24 disposals, 12 marks and four goals ?— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) February 20, 2020
What a game from Tim Membrey. pic.twitter.com/RjCQVEe8YX
And in the same vein as last year – where he shouldered a great deal of responsibility as the focal point of St Kilda’s attack – he didn’t let the weight of standing in as captain affect his game.
“It was something different and is just something I’ve got to think about now, getting the boys up before the game, but I enjoyed it,” Membrey said.
And being back at RSEA Park, Moorabbin was the perfect salute to a solid outing. “It was really awesome, I said to one of the boys before running out I got a little bit of goosebumps looking around,” Membrey said.
“You hear so many stories about what this joint was like back in the day, and looking out now I can see all the empty beer cans and stuff.
“It looks like they had a bit of a party, but it’s just awesome to see the hill and people everywhere.”
The Saints head to Morwell Recreational Reserve next Friday at 4:30pm to face the Hawks in their Bushfire Relief match.