Magpies beat Bulldogs by one point - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies beat Bulldogs by one point

By Roger Vaughan 10/07/2009 11:31:50 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood have beaten the Western Bulldogs by one point in another classic AFL blockbuster at Etihad Stadium.

Five days after St Kilda's epic win over Geelong, the Magpies have withstood an unlikely Bulldogs fightback to win 17.9 (111) to 16.14 (110).

In front of 51,382 fans, the 'Dogs recovered from a 41-point deficit late in the third term, kicking six goals to one in the final quarter.

Dale Thomas kicked Collingwood's only goal of the last term with a minute and 17 seconds left to put them seven points ahead.

Ryan Griffen then reduced the margin to one point with his goal, but there were only 17 seconds remaining and the Magpies held on for the win.

Collingwood onballer Alan Didak was best afield with 33 disposals and Brian Lake kept the 'Dogs in the game with a brilliant game at fullback.

It was a massive match for the two sides, with the Western Bulldogs coming into Friday night holding third spot, a game clear of Collingwood and Adelaide.

But with their victory, Collingwood have now won seven straight games and ended the Bulldogs' five-game winning streak.

The Western Bulldogs twice reduced the margin to a manageable 22 points early in the third quarter, but they were not playing well.

After a running goal to Tyson Goldsack, Collingwood produced one of the plays of the season.

A long kick out of defence from Maxwell found Didak alone on the wing.

He went for a long run and kicked the ball deep into the forward pocket.

The ball probably went out of bounds on the full, but the boundary umpire was too far up the ground to tell.

Leon Davis took full advantage, taking possession and snapping from the most acute of angles.

He had also snapped a goal in the first quarter where he did not look at his target before throwing the ball onto his boot.

Two minutes after his piece of magic in the third term, Davis goalled again to put the Magpies 41 points ahead.

Collingwood goalled again at the 20-minute mark, but the Bulldogs had the last two scores of the quarter to reduce the margin to 34 points.

They were in touch, just, but the Magpies looked in control.

Collingwood had stunned the Western Bulldogs at the start of the match and had a 29-point halftime lead.

The Magpies burst to a 33-point lead in the first term, then absorbed the Bulldogs' fightback as the margin reduced to 10 points before kicking clear again.

Collingwood were undoubtedly hurt early in the final term when their No.1 ruckman Josh Fraser limped from the field, but he managed to return late in the game.

The Bulldogs had reduced the margin to 13 points midway through the final term when Magpies ruckman Leigh Brown was caught holding the ball in the centre square.

He inexplicably then kicked the ball away, conceding a crucial 50m penalty, and Lindsay Gilbee goalled to compound the pressure.

Thomas kicked the vital goal after a fumble from Mitch Hahn, amid massive pressure in Collingwood's attack.

Magpies coach Mick Malthouse said the win was a significant confidence boost, regardless of how the last quarter unfolded.

"They came home like a train, they're a fantastic football side and we proved tonight ... that we can go around with some of them," he said.

"That's going to be the nature of the game - have a look at last week, St Kilda looked like they were going to win by plenty (the final margin was six points) - it's the simple nature of football, the way it's played.

"When momentum shifts, it's very hard to stop, particularly when you're tired."

But Malthouse added Collingwood were comprehensively beaten out of the centre and that is an area they need to address.

When Eade was asked for his reaction, he bluntly replied "mixed".

"Obviously we showed a lot of fight, a lot of courage and that's one thing about the group, they really do persevere and hang in there," he said.

"That was very pleasing, (but) just the first part of the game, the number of mistakes and the intensity was down a bit.

"It also shows you've got to take your opportunities - the amount of chances we had .... we made basic errors."

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