Anthony gets Pies in preliminary final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Anthony gets Pies in preliminary final

By Guy Hand 12/09/2009 11:54:12 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood forward John Anthony booted a match-winning goal with 20 seconds left to send his side into the AFL preliminary final with a sensational five-point AFL semi-final win over Adelaide at the MCG.

Anthony's steely set shot stole the match from the Crows, who looked to have secured their own late victory through a Kurt Tippett goal with less than two minutes remaining.

Instead the ball went down the other end and a free-kick was paid against Crows defender Ben Rutten for an infringement against Anthony, giving him the chance to win the match.

He made no mistake with his shot to seal a 12.11 (83) to 11.12 (78) win which will leave the Crows wondering how they had let slip a 32-point lead just before halftime and what appeared enough final quarter momentum to win the match.

The Crows unleashed a huge first six-goal quarter with chains of slick, sweeping handball led by midfielders Bernie Vince and Simon Goodwin as Collingwood struggled to put anything together.

The Pies steadied in the second term, outscoring the Crows two goals to one, but still trailed by 26 points at the long break and looked set to exit the finals.

But Collingwood set the stage for a remarkable final term with a six goals to none third quarter - veteran Ben Johnson and youngster Brad Dick booting two goals apiece.

First-year player Steele Sidebottom also curtailed rampant the rampant Vince's influence as the Pies went man-on-man and quelled the Crows.

Collingwood looked to have the momentum to go with a 10-point three-quarter time lead, but the game changed yet again as the Crows booted the opening three goals of the final term.

Tippett booted two of those, before the teams swapped crucial goals all the way through the final five minutes of the match.

First Collingwood big man Leigh Brown gave the Pies the lead with four minutes left, then Tippett booted a monstrous 65-metre free-kick for his fourth goal to seemingly give the Crows victory.

Enter Anthony, who had little impact until that point but had his arm held by Rutten and a free-kick paid to secure the win.

Collingwood now play Geelong next weekend in the preliminary final for a chance to advance to the AFL grand final.

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse labelled his team's first half "comprehensively poor", but admitted he was confident they could conjure a win once Anthony was given the chance to boot his match-winning goal.

"I thought Jack could knock it over ... I was quite comfortable that, barring kicking it into the man, he'd kick it," Malthouse said.

"We know it was a terrific win that gets us to a preliminary final and you don't get to a preliminary final unless you get things right.

"We got enough things right tonight against a terrific football side to challenge Geelong next week."

Adelaide coach Neil Craig said the Crows could not get enough of the ball in the crucial third quarter and had too many costly lapses in the second half.

"You're going to have momentum swings in the game, we expect that," he said.

"Our first half was quite dominant and Collingwood's third quarter was quite dominant and we end up losing by five points.

"In the end we weren't able to do enough correct things to finish off a pretty entertaining game of footy."

Craig said Adelaide could at least draw on their late comeback, when the game looked gone at three-quarter time.

"It doesn't mean too much at the moment obviously, but it will be something we'll call upon in the future," he said.

Adelaide were a man down in the second half, as midfielder Chris Knights injured a hamstring in the second quarter.

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