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Collingwood fought back to the death to beat Essendon by four points in an MCG miracle thanks to a Jamie Elliott goal after the siren for their ninth straight victory to move into the top four.
It comes after the Magpies gave up a 37-point quartertime lead before trailing to 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Bombers appeared to charge at home.
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But Craig McRae’s side kept their cool, just as they have done so many times during their winning streak, scoring the final four goals, including Elliott’s sealer on the siren to send off fans in epic scenes.
“Ice in his veins, Jamie Elliott,” exclaimed Channel 7 commentator James Brayshaw.
The scoreboard eventually read 12.8, (80), to 11.10 (76) in favor of black and white.
Collingwood now sits fourth while improving to 13-8 overall as the Bombers saw their three-game winning streak drop to 6-12.
QUARTER BY QUARTER MATCH REPORT
Pies skipper Scott Pendlebury scored the game’s first goal to put his side on the board in the opening minutes, while Darcy Cameron kicked in the next.
Collingwood’s ball movement was outstanding early on to draw praise from Channel 7 pundits.
“At the moment it’s Collingwood’s ball usage, which separates Essendon. Collingwood uses the ball beautifully,” said Geelong great Cameron Ling.
Former Demons skipper Nathan Jones added: “That’s incredible offensive ball movement by the Pies. As a striker, you lick your lips when it happens at that kind of speed.
A thrilling play in the center of the field resulted in Ash Johnson’s second major – and the Pies’ fourth consecutive game to start the game – Ling noting that they were playing “electric footy”.
On a week the AFL announced a crackdown on high-contact interpretation, polarizing Jack Ginnivan was taken high, but the referee called the game to draw heavy criticism from pundits.
“It’s not fair game. Just because you get into the ‘Ginnivan’s done this before’ mindset doesn’t mean Essendon players can live their lives. It’s a free kick every day,” Ling said.
Collingwood’s dominance continued later in term, including a bizarre Goal of the Year contender from Josh Daicos – resembling the legendary senior Daicos, who was seen in the cheering crowd – a hanger Mason Cox and game two Ash Johnson kicking his third goal of the term.
“Collingwood fans ecstatic It’s just a chilling little statement from Collingwood,” said Channel 7 commentator James Brayshaw.
The Pies took a 37-point lead in the first break, 6.2 (38) to 0.1 (01).
But the Bombers responded in the second quarter with the first two majors in Peter Wright and Harry Jones to bring it back to a 24-point game.
Wright pitched the next one for Essendon as it was well and truly the game again.
“The Bombers responded well,” Ling said.
Jones added, “It’s a completely different team from the Bombers that we’re seeing right now. Their pressure has increased, their ability to win contests has increased, it creates so many opportunities.
It was almost as if the two teams traded jumpers in the second quarter as Andrew Phillips scored four Bombers goals on a trot to continue an emphatic response and massive change in the competition.
And Ben Rutten’s side didn’t end there, Matt Guelfi first forcing a turnover, then taking an unlikely one-handed mark in the box before converting the Bombers’ fifth straight major.
Collingwood pitched one late to make it a 13-point game at halftime, 7.4 (46) to 5.3 (33), while Mason Redman was substituted after a heavy collision with Brody Mihocek.
Essendon picked up where he left off to open the second half, Wright missing a set piece before Nic Martin seized his opportunity to bring him back to a seven-point game, while Sam Draper continued to assert his presence around the floor in a strong showing of the Bombers ruckman.
“Reminds me of a young Max Gawn,” Jones said of Draper in a big compliment.
The Bombers looked on the better side throughout the early stages of the third term, with Chanel 7 commentator Alister Nicholson saying, “there’s a fierceness about Essendon that was missing at the start of this contest.”
Adding to Collingwood’s woes, Brayden Maynard was substituted with a shoulder injury.
Kyle Langford scored the Bombers’ next goal to give them their first lead of the contest in a stunning turnover, while Draper knocked the house down after a banana goal before celebrating appropriately, Nicholson noting they were in ” Total control”.
The Bombers led by 14 points three-quarters from time – which marked an insane 51-point turnover – 10.7 (67) to 8.5 (53).
Guelfi continued the Bombers’ charge in the fourth quarter with the opening major of the quarter to take a 20-point lead.
But the Magpies, as they have done so many times this year, fought back in the death, scoring the next three goals to set up another thrilling end.
Harrison Jones looked to put the Pies away late, pinning Jeremy Howe 40m directly in front of goal for the sealed kick.
But Jones’ shot hit the post as Collingwood got a final dice roll for the win on a kick, with the Pies going coast to coast as Elliott scored the ball 40m out on the line of demarcation.
The siren sounded as Elliott lined up for goal, nailing the shot through the big sticks to secure Collingwood’s ninth straight win in insane scenes.
3. ELLIOTT THE MIRACULOUS MAN
Indeed, Jamie Elliott has ice in his veins.
The Magpies striker sealed a famous Collingwood victory over Essendon on Sunday afternoon, netting the game-winning goal after the siren to send Pies fans to the MCG in a wild ending.
It extended Collingwood’s winning streak to nine games as they climbed into the top four, although that result looked so very vulnerable to go the other way just minutes before.
Of course, Collingwood had gained 37 points earlier in the game before Essendon pulled off a stunning turnaround to lead by as much as 20 points in the fourth quarter.
The Bombers’ fightback was so impressive that it marked Essendon’s biggest comeback after a losing quarter since that famous 2001 game against North when they were down 58 at the first break.
But the Pies, just as they have done so many times during their winning streak, kept their composure in the clutch moments, scoring the final four goals, including two majors at under-doc Josh Carmichael , and of course, Elliott’s last dagger.
Collingwood have now won by an average of 11.3 points on their winning streak as their fans’ hearts have been tested once again – and probably not for the last time!
2. BIG CALLS FOR MORE GINNIVAN PROTECTION AFTER DOUBTFUL CALL
In a week the AFL announced a crackdown on his high-contact portrayal, much-talked-about Jack Ginnivan was once again in the spotlight.
Ginnivan in the opening quarter was brought up by Mason Redman but called to play by the referee in a dodgy call that drew heavy criticism from Channel 7 pundits on commentary.
Redman’s initial contact with Ginnivan was high, although the replay appears to show the magpie lowering her body slightly, but not enough to initiate or alter the physical clash.
“I think his reputation cost him there, Jack Ginnivan,” Cannel 7 Alastair Nicholson said.
“Is a knee drop significant enough not to warrant a free kick?”
Prime Minister Geelong’s captain Cameron Ling added: “It’s not fair game. Just because you get into the ‘Ginnivan’s done this before’ mindset doesn’t mean Essendon players can live their lives. It’s a free kick every day.
The incident was probed by Fox Footy pundits at halftime, agreeing that Ginnivan should have been awarded a free kick.
“For mine it was a high tackle, he had a hanger around his neck,” Sarah Jones said.
Carlton and Adelaide great Eddie Betts added: “I would say it’s high, it’s a little steep there. But then he thought it was going to be a free kick, so he continued.
Western Bulldogs legend Brad Johnson noted how Redman continued to go to Ginnivan after the act with an extra neck grab and pull, saying “it’s actually quite dangerous.”
“He’s going to have that a lot, when they don’t pay a free kick they’re going to get stuck in him. If it’s a hand extension you just have to keep your hands down added Betts.
“If he had both hands on the ball he might have suffered a concussion, but it will be a free kick.
“He will no longer have any protection.”
Johnson believes Ginnivan may need to add some defensive movement to his game but ultimately felt the youngster needed better protection from the officials.
“He should have (protection) because the extra layer is not good in my book. We saw it against North Melbourne the extra layer when the free kick wasn’t taken and they were in him and got did a little more than they should have,” he said.
“Once again, Essendon’s opponent was a little too strong to go overboard and could have hurt the youngster.”
1. DAICOS WOWS OBJECTIVE
Channel 7 commentator James Brayshaw said it as well as anyone could have, it’s just in the “DNA” of this family.
While so much talk has surrounded Nick Daicos lately amid his stellar rookie season, it was his older brother Josh who stole the show in the first quarter of Collingwood’s clash with Essendon with an epic goal from the year.
Josh collected the ball halfway up, keeping the ball in play with a neat handball while tucked on the boundary line as he weaved between two Essendon players.
The son of a gun then took two rebounds and charged inside 50 near the boundary line, opening the angle and nailing the instant shot – in a move reminiscent of Collingwood’s father and great Peter – as the Magpies cheer squad broke up.
“Daicos wins it, he leaves, some rebounds and like his brilliant father [he] passes through,” said Channel 7’s James Brayshaw.
Fittingly, the cameras then cut Daicos senior in the crowd on his feet and cheering for the goal with a beaming smile on his face.
“There he is (their dad), what kind of DNA do they have to roll this family. It’s ridiculous. So focused on Nick and there should be, but he’s a good footballer in his own right and that man was a champion,” Brayshaw said.
Fox Footy pundits marveled at the epic quarter-time goal.
“He made it look ridiculously easy,” said Sarah Jones.
“This basketball bounces in the middle, not many people could do that,”
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