Magpies hold off fast finishing St Kilda - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies hold off fast finishing St Kilda

By Guy Hand 09/08/2008 11:00:05 PM Comments (0)

Six days after the car crash, Collingwood's air bags finally went off at the MCG on Saturday night.

After being battered mercilessly for a week over the Heath Shaw-Alan Didak drink-driving affair, the Magpies produced a courageous against the odds 14-point win over St Kilda to find a soft landing place inside the AFL top eight.

The Pies dominated for three quarters, then held off a determined late charge by the Saints to post a 14.13 (97) to 12.11 (83) victory.

Onballer Dane Swan and young forward John Anthony kicked three goals each for the Magpies, while Adam Schneider booted three for the beaten Saints.

Collingwood had come into the match reeling, with Shaw and Didak suspended for the remainder of the season after the fallout of Shaw's drunken car crash last Sunday.

The Saints had emotion of a different kind during the week after news stalwart Robert Harvey would retire at the end of the season - the club seeking a fairytale run into the finals to cap his career.

But the Saints were surprisingly flat and the Magpies were anything but, as they raced to a 14-point quarter-time lead before stepping on the pedal in the second term.

Collingwood dominated in all aspects, with Swan outstanding with 25 touches to go with his three goals, skipper Scott Burns leading by example and youngster Scott Pendlebury and Leon Davis also getting plenty of the football.

St Kilda struggled hopelessly at the clearances and battled to penetrate Collingwood's 50-metre arc - only Harvey and Brendon Goddard producing four-quarter efforts.

Collingwood led at every change - 24 points at halftime and 26 going into the final term.

It took until the final quarter for the Saints to lift, closing to within nine points midway through the term as Schneider kicked his third.

But the Pies found something every time they were challenged, with Swan and Anthony's third goals approaching time-on ending any hopes of an unlikely Saints win.

The Pies have now powered into sixth place, while the Saints - who could have secured a finals berth with a win - are dangerously placed in eighth spot with several teams closing in.

There was no chest-thumping from Magpies coach Mick Malthouse, who remained understated in his post-match comments despite what will go down as a famous Collingwood win.

"Under the circumstances - it's been a pretty torrid week - we were able to generate enough enthusiasm and enough desire to play a very good football side and win," Malthouse said.

"Now we've got to keep our foot on the accelerator and approach next week's game with the same intensity as this one."

Saints coach Ross Lyon described his team's final quarter revival as "too little too late" and said he was bitterly disappointed with his side's performance on what should have been a night they were pumped up for.

"They turned up from the start. We turned up after halftime," Lyon said.

"It was bitterly disappointing in what was a really important game.

"They were better than us in all facets of the game. We slaughtered the footy, broke down up forward.

"Their good players played well. Ours didn't."

Saints skipper Nick Riewoldt had stitches inserted in torn webbing between his fingers sustained in the second quarter and played out the match wearing a glove.

The Saints also have match review panel woes to contemplate on Monday with midfielder Aaron Fiora reported for striking Collingwood first-gamer John McCarthy.

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