Pies master occasion and the Bombers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pies master occasion and the Bombers

Guy Hand 25/04/2011 07:24:48 PM Comments (0)

The AFL Anzac Day game is a big occasion done well.

Finding the football to fit it should be the hard part.

Not this Anzac Day.

After war veterans were feted and commemorated before the match, elevating the goosebumps of nearly 90,000 spectators at the MCG, Essendon and Collingwood did the same.

The Bombers pushed flag favourites Collingwood to their limits in a classic befitting AFL's most prestigious home-and-away match.

They fell short by five goals. They lost no admirers.

Blown away early, the young Bombers fought back to within a point of the Magpies in the third term, and again within two early in the final quarter.

But right now in the AFL, when unstoppable force meets immovable object, Collingwood always wins.

It took every bit of the Magpies' weaponry to keep their juggernaut rolling, run out 16.11 (107) to 11.11 (77) winners, and remain unbeaten after five matches of their premiership defence.

Collingwood midfielder Scott Pendlebury and giant forward Travis Cloke swung the match their side's way.

Deservedly winning the media judges' nod for the Anzac Day Medal for best afield, the dreadlocked Pendlebury booted three goals and gathered the ball 34 times.

After being shackled for three terms, Cloke lifted with the game on the line to boot three final quarter goals for the Pies to seal victory.

The Anzac Day match has become such a big occasion that other clubs are circling, wanting to break the Essendon-Collingwood duopoly on the event.

The AFL will ultimately decide whether that happens.

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse admits other clubs perhaps deserve their chance to play on Anzac Day, but issued a reminder just how dear the Magpies hold the occasion.

"I just think this is Australia's greatest day, for a start," he said.

"I can't express what it feels like to be out there when the bugle plays The Last Post.

"You think 'I wouldn't like to be anywhere else on this earth than be out here with these blokes'.

"Under my coaching, (the players) have always been given a history lesson with it. We never forget why we're playing on this day."

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