Elliott goals after siren for Magpies win

·3-min read

Jamie Elliott kicked Collingwood into the AFL top-four by nailing a difficult after-the-siren goal to defeat Essendon in a four-point thriller at the MCG on Sunday.

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 Collingwood faithful in the 72,402 crowd went ballistic.

The extraordinary 12.8 (80) to 11.10 (76) result makes it nine straight wins, six of them by 10 points or less, for the Magpies and puts them above Fremantle in fourth spot on the ladder.

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."

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.

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.

"It was bitterly disappointing because we put ourselves in a great position to win the game," said coach Ben Rutten.

"We gave them a head-start at quarter-time, so had a bit of ground to make up, which we were able to do but ultimately we can't be doing that."

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.

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