Collingwood re-write AFL record books in never-before-seen feat

·4-min read
Jamie Elliott's goal after the siren sealed a thrilling victory for Collingwood over Essendon at the MCG. Pic: Ch7/Getty
Jamie Elliott's goal after the siren sealed a thrilling victory for Collingwood over Essendon at the MCG. Pic: Ch7/Getty

Collingwood have cemented their reputation as the masters of fourth quarter footy in 2022 after creating history in a last-gasp victory over Essendon on Sunday.

Jamie Elliott kicked the Magpies into the top four after a difficult, after-the-siren goal to clinch a thrilling four-point win over the Bombers at the MCG.

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The star forward marked near the boundary some 40 metres out, before calmly slotting the goal after the siren sounded in his run-up.

Elliott was mobbed by all his teammates as the extraordinary 12.8 (80) to 11.10 (76) result sent the Collingwood faithful ballistic.

The victory makes it nine straight wins for the Pies and incredibly, six of them have come by 10 points or less.

According to Aussie sporting stats guru @sirswampthing, no other side in AFL history has won seven games in row by a smaller cumulative margin than Craig McRae's Pies.

Between rounds 11 and 18, Collingwood have won by a cumulative margin of just 62 points, following the seven straight wins against Essendon (four points), Adelaide (five), North Melbourne (seven), Gold Coast (five), GWS (11), Melbourne (26), Hawthorn (four) and Carlton (four).

Collingwood's record in close games this year is bordering on ludicrous but this win was the most improbable of the lot.

After flying out of the blocks with the first six goals to lead by 37 points at quarter-time, they conceded 11 of the next 13 as the Bombers grabbed a 21-point buffer in the final term.

But the Magpies' resilience again came to the fore as they kicked the last four goals of an exhilarating contest, two of them to second-gamer Josh Carmichael.

After Fremantle's bizarre draw with Richmond on Friday night, the Magpies, who finished 17th last year, leapfrog the Dockers on the ladder.

"That had to be the lowest-percentage shot to win a game so it's pretty exceptional execution (from Elliott)," Collingwood coach Craig McRae said.

"I think we're winning games on spirit, I really do, I feel the connection and the spirit of the ground and the will to win is getting us over the line.

"We can do a lot better in some areas so the spirit's there. How far that carries us, time will tell."

Brayden Maynard injury sours Collingwood win

The only downside for Collingwood was a shoulder injury to Brayden Maynard, with the ace defender subbed out early in the last quarter.

Collingwood dynamo Jack Ginnivan was again front and centre, having come into the spotlight when the AFL last week warned players would no longer be given high contact free kicks when they ducked or shrugged in tackles.

The young forward did not receive a free after a tackle in which Essendon defender Mason Redman made contact around his neck in the first quarter.

Seen here, Essendon's Mason Redman tackles Collingwood star Jack Ginnivan during the round 19 match at the MCG.
Essendon's Mason Redman tackles Collingwood star Jack Ginnivan during the round 19 match at the MCG. Pic: Getty

The umpire calling play-on sparked the Magpies crowd into action, jeering harder than they did all afternoon.

Redman was subbed out of the game in the third quarter after suffering internal bruising and was taken to hospital for assessment.

Nick Daicos grabbed all the attention last week when he starred with 40 touches and three goals in Collingwood's win over Adelaide, but it was older brother Josh creating the buzz this time.

His highlights included one of the goals of the season, when he kept the ball in on the boundary line, took two bounces and snapped successfully at full pace.

Essendon have been one of the disappointing teams of 2022 but they are finishing the year with some promise, despite this agonising defeat.

Collingwood host Port Adelaide at the MCG next Saturday as they attempt to win a 10th straight game, while Essendon will look to take out their frustrations on lowly North Melbourne.

with AAP

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