Dogs play party poopers on Hayes’ day
IT was supposed to be a tribute game for Lenny Hayes but nobody told the Western Bulldogs, who spoilt the party with an 18.14 (122) to 15.9 (99) win to leave St Kilda rooted to the bottom of the AFL ladder.
Hayes (pictured), who is retiring at the end of the season, was playing his last home game, with banners, placards, music and even a gate at Etihad Stadium dedicated to the St Kilda champion.
But the Bulldogs were too good in the end, winning by 23 points.
Jake Stringer was the star for the Dogs, booting four goals, including two contenders for goal of the year.
Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney was also back to his brilliant best, with 25 disposals and three goals, while Shaun Higgins rolled back the years with 26 touches.
The Saints had some triers with David Armitage and Leigh Montagna strong in midfield, while James Gwilt recovered from a shocking first half to kick three majors.
Hayes was quiet with 17 disposals but he did score a goal, which brought a standing ovation from the Saints' faithful, and produced his famous baulk in the final term to get past Jack Macrae.
The first quarter, where the Bulldogs opened a 27-point lead, proved costly.
The Dogs' 7.4 (46) was their highest-scoring first quarter of the season and it left the Saints chasing throughout the contest.
In the second term, Alan Richardson's men did manage to cut into the lead and at one point got to within 11.
The Bulldogs settled themselves and kicked the two goals the Saints wanted so badly to close the contest and spoil Hayes' day.