Magpies dispatch Blues 155-102 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies dispatch Blues 155-102

By Guy Hand 02/05/2010 06:49:38 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has praised St Kilda cast-off Luke Ball for improving a Magpies team which now looks like AFL premiership material after a 53-point thumping of Carlton at the MCG on Sunday.

Ball booted three goals and worked hard in a quality Magpies midfield effort, as Collingwood lifted when challenged by the Blues to run out 24.11 (155) to 16.6 (102) winners.

It follows successive 10-goal victories over Hawthorn and Essendon and is the Magpies' fifth win in six matches this season.

Ball left St Kilda for Collingwood in last year's national draft after a protracted contract wrangle led to his departure.

In probably his best match for his new club, two of Ball's three goals came with his side under pressure from the Blues.

Malthouse sheeted home a lot of his side's progress to the addition of Ball and fellow mature-aged recruit Darren Jolly from Sydney - saying they make the players around them better for their addition.

"Luke Ball's been outstanding for us on and off the ground - if he wasn't best on ground today I don't know who was," Malthouse said.

"And Darren Jolly - you can see why he's had the success he's had. We've recruited two players who've brought a heck of a lot to the football club.

"Their character alone is outstanding, and the fact they've been in Jolly's case a premiership player and Ball's case a multi-finals player, are the bonuses for us."

In an enthralling contest in front of more than 80,000 people, Collingwood led by 39 points midway through the second term and looked on their way to steamrolling the Blues.

But Carlton reversed a first half in which they were slaughtered around the stoppages and unable to gain any traction going forward thanks to huge third-quarter efforts from skipper Chris Judd and tall forward Setanta O'hAilpin.

O'hAilpin, who had been a lone hand as things were falling apart in the second term, booted two of his five goals in the third.

Judd gathered 11 of his 37 possessions in the quarter, helping the Blues get back on top in the clearances and rolling back the deficit to just three points.

But the Magpies responded to the Blues' spirited challenge - hard-working onballer Dane Swan and Scott Pendlebury re-establishing Collingwood's dominance at the stoppages.

The Magpies booted five of the last six goals of the third quarter.

A huge 65-metre effort from Swan which took a fortunate bounce, followed by a thumping 55-metre goal from Harry O'Brien right on the stroke of three-quarter time gave the Magpies a 27-point lead at the final change.

Carlton's spirited fightback told in the final term, as the Magpies were able to extend their advantage with a seven goals to three goal quarter.

Collingwood had 13 individual goalkickers, with Paul Medhurst and Chris Dawes matching Ball's three goals.

Swan gathered 31 touches and Pendlebury 29.

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