Pies win Anzac Day blockbuster
If there is one thing i hate and thats losing to the Bombers and thank god today we beat them again!
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Collingwood defied fatigue and bad finishing to beat Essendon by 16 points in an epic Anzac Day clash at the MCG.
The short break looked like it had an immediate effect on the Magpies, who conceded the first three goals inside nine minutes and appeared headed for a thrashing.
But a superb work rate and non-stop tackling helped them reel in the deficit and turn it into a two-goal buffer at the last change before winning 12.23 (95) to 11.13 (79).
The Magpies rose to the occasion when challenged in the final quarter by booting two quick goals after Essendon's Mark Johnson cut the deficit to six points.
Collingwood's win, played before a crowd of 90,508 in perfect conditions, levelled the record to 6-6 in this fixture after the 1995 draw, and leaves both sides with 3-2 records in 2007.
Anzac Medal winner Heath Shaw typified Collingwood's desperation with an inspiring game at half-back. His brother Rhyce also did well along with Tarkyn Lockyer, while Alan Didak and Anthony Rocca both booted three goals.
Lockyer kicked a decisive goal early in the last quarter when he intercepted a bad kick across the ground by Essendon's Kepler Bradley and ran into an open goal.
That major put the Magpies 18 points up, but Collingwood's greatest concern was their poor finishing for goal.
A string of bad misses kept the game open for far longer than it should have been, even when Rocca missed two shots late in the last quarter.
Collingwood's win was one of their greatest of recent years, given Essendon had two goals on the board within three minutes, one to Matthew Lloyd and one to young speedster Alwyn Davey, who ran around a pack, eluded a tackle and scored from 40 metres.
Collingwood settled and dominated general play for the rest of the attack, but their half-forward line functioned badly and they could not build on their advantage in play.
Davey then nabbed the goal of the day in the second quarter, when he pounced onto a loose ball, rolled out of a Scott Burns tackle and deftly sidestepped Harry O'Brien before kicking truly.
But a few inspiring moments aside, Essendon were outplayed and their key players shut out of the contest.
Essendon's best included fullback Dustin Fletcher, Adam McPhee, Damien Peverill and midfielder Mark McVeigh, while Davey and Lloyd both finished with three goals.
The monster crowd was just the eighth time in league history that a crowd of more than 90,000 watched a home and away game.
Collingwood 1.5 5.12 9.16 12.23 (95)
Essendon 3.4 6.6 8.10 11.13 (79)
Collingwood: Didak 3, Rocca 3, Johnson, Pendlebury, Cloke, Lockyer, Dick
Essendon: Lloyd 3, Davey 3, Johns 2, Bolton, Johnson, Monfries
Collingwood: H Shaw S Burns J Clement T Lockyer R Shaw T Cloke H O'Brien
Essendon: D Peverill D Fletcher P Ryder A McPhee
Umpires: M Vozzo S Jeffery S McInerney
Official Crowd: 90,508 at MCG