Magpies win Anzac Day thriller
Collingwood pips a gallant Essendon team in the traditional Anzac Day blockbuster at the MCG.PT0M0S 620 349
COLLINGWOOD 2.4 5.6 9.8 11.14 (80)
ESSENDON 1.3 3.6 7.8 11.13 (79)
Goals: Collingwood: D Swan 3 T Cloke 3 J Blair 2 D Beams D Jolly S Sidebottom. Essendon: A Davey 3 D Zaharakis 2 A Monfries B Howlett B Stanton C Dell'Olio H Hocking S Lonergan.
Best: Collingwood: D Swan S Pendlebury B Johnson D Beams N Maxwell N Brown M Clarke. Essendon: D Zaharakis D Heppell R Dyson D Fletcher S Lonergan.
Umpires: Chris Donlon, Matt Stevic, Simon Meredith.
Official Crowd: 86,932 at MCG.
A video referral has helped deliver Jarryd Blair the winning goal as Collingwood held on by one point for a nerve-jangling Anzac Day AFL victory over Essendon.
The Magpies won 11.14 (80) to 11.13 (79) in front of 86,932 fans at the MCG, handing the Bombers their first defeat of the season and entering positive win-loss territory (3-2) themselves for the first time this year.
Nathan Brown and Nick Maxwell celebrate Collingwood's win. Photo: Pat Scala
Collingwood midfielder Dane Swan was a fitting winner of the Anzac Medal with a magnificent performance, gathering 42 disposals and three goals, along with a mammoth 13 clearances.
Travis Cloke kicked three goals, while Scott Pendlebury and Dayne Beams were prolific ball-winners.
The Magpies led nearly all day and Essendon had looked gone when they trailed by three goals early in the last quarter.
Anzac Day clash: Collingwood vs Essendon
Collingwood plays Essendon in the traditional Anzac Day clash at the MCG. Photo: Pat Scala
But while Collingwood, who kicked 2.6 in the last term, wasted chances to seal their win, a goal to Essendon substitute Cory Dell'Olio and two to Alwyn Davey levelled the scores.
After another Magpies miss, by youngster Ben Sinclair, Essendon midfielder Brent Stanton, who had contributed little throughout the day, put the Bombers in front for the first time since early in the game with a snapped major.
But the lead lasted just 46 seconds, before Blair replied with the last score of the day, a toe-poke over the line, with the umpires needing a referral to confirm the Magpie forward managed to get a boot to it.
Collingwood's Jarryd Blair kicks the winning goal. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Even then, the drama was not over, as Essendon went forward in the final seconds, but could not manage another shot at goal.
The Bombers showed enormous grit, after copping yet another in their long list of soft tissue injuries, losing defender Michael Hibberd to a hamstring strain in the first term.
Collingwood dominated large patches of the first half, but still led by just two goals at the main break, hurting their cause with inaccuracy, including missed close-range set shots by Tyson Goldsack and Chris Dawes.
They were also hurt by a video referral to start the second half, Goldsack denied what was possibly a soccered goal by inconclusive footage, with the Bombers racing the ball from fullback for a David Zaharakis goal.
Essendon kept charging, the Magpies only maintaining their two-goal buffer at the last change due to a heroic 13-touch, two-goal third quarter by Swan.
Dustin Fletcher was typically valiant in defence for Essendon, while Zaharakis was a strong midfield contributor and kicked two majors.