St Kilda have fought off a late challenge by Richmond to record a nine-point AFL win, but their joy has been tempered by another serious injury to luckless spearhead Paddy McCartin.
The Tigers overcame a poor first half to outscore the Saints in the second, but Alan Richardson’s side did enough to scrap their way to a 7.13 (55) to 6.10 (46) win on Saturday afternoon at the MCG.
McCartin’s troubled season is over after he suffered a broken collarbone in the first quarter.
The 20-year-old received a free kick after crashing into the legs of Tigers defender Nick Vlastuin, then left the ground clutching his right shoulder after kicking his second goal.
In perfect conditions, the listless Tigers managed just two goals in the first half.
The Saints went inside their forward 50 28 times to 12, but spurned several scoring opportunities and should have led by more than 21 points at halftime.
Richmond attacked the contest with greater vigour after the restart, but still trailed by 13 points at the last change.
St Kilda didn’t manage a goal in the third term, but majors to Nick Riewoldt and Jack Billings were enough to seal the Saints’ 11th win of the season.
Seb Ross and Leigh Montagna were the main ball winners for St Kilda, with 34 and 33 possessions respectively, while Tim Membrey and McCartin kicked two goals each.
Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin led the way for the Tigers, whose only multiple goal-scorer was Daniel Rioli with two.
With both sides out of finals contention, Richmond will finish their 2016 campaign against Sydney at the SCG and St Kilda will travel to Brisbane.