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Mason Cox
Cox Celebrates (file photo)

North Melbourne hosted the Collingwood Football Club at Marvel Stadium on Sunday afternoon.  While outside it was raining, match conditions were perfect under the retractable roof which was closed for the day. It was a big milestone match for American born player Mason Cox, who was honored on the banner running out even if he was second fiddle, it read "Steel Sidebottom 300 games, Mason Cox 100".  When Collingwood ran out through the banner Cox, as he traditionally does, remained at the back of the group and was the last to run through the banner.  

Cox started forward where he has played most of his time on the field in the AFL. In the sixth minute of the game Darcy more marked on the wing and looked for the lead of the big American. He was awarded the mark after the defender chopped his arms but his set shot kick went to the left for a behind. Not quite the fairytale start. 

It was Josh Daicos that got the first goal on the board, presenting outside the pack at the top of the 50 to run in and kick the goal. Cox moved into the ruck position. Collingwood added three more goals for the quarter through Nick Davis, Brodie Mihocek, and Jack Ginnivan. The other milestone man, Steele Sidebottom, injured his knee at around the 14 minute mark and was substituted out of the game. Hoskin-Elliot came into the game as the substitute. While North Melbourne were able to get the ball inside their 50 a number of times, three behinds was their return, and it was a four goal lead to the Magpies at quarter time.   

Daniel Howe kicked the first goal of the third quarter and the first for his team when he received the ball front and center to the contesting pack just outside the goal square. Cox used his size to hold position in front as he marked 20 meters out from the goal and went back to get the maximum six points from his low straight drop punt. The crowd, appreciative of his milestone with applause both when he kicked the goal, and when he came off to the bench straight after.

Hoskin-Elliot and Mihocek added two more for Collingwood to extend their lead further. North's next best chance for the quarter came when Ford kicked long to Larkey next to the goal square, but his snap around the corner hit the post. A minute later Ford again showed a good turn of speed and kicked long inside 50 to Stephenson who kicked North's second for the match. North Melbourne finally started to gain some traction in the latter half of that second quarter winning more contested ball, but they still lacked polish to finish off some good work up the field and trailed by 27 points at half time.   

Larkey kicked the first goal of the second half after a madcap forward 50 meter entry by the Kangaroos that saw the ball quickly passed around six different players, but they kept possession and in the end Larkey marked and made sure he kicked the goal from close range. De Goey, who was having a great game on the ball, kicked a goal in response and some good roving by Adams added another. Larkey kicked his second goal of the match when he marked a low quick kick from Zurhaar just 15 meters out from goal. Any thoughts of North Melbourne fighting their way back into the game gave way as Collingwood kicked the next four goals unanswered to lead by 53 points at the last break. 

Despite being well down North Melbourne again kicked the first goal of the quarter after an intercept by Curtis in the middle of the ground. A long kick that found Larkey deeper than all the defenders and he made no mistake from 15 meters out. Mason Cox doubled his goal output after he marked a high kick inside 50m. Cox, out-positioned, use his height to get a hand in over the top of McKay and juggle the ball to himself to claim the mark. From deep in the pocket he confidently kicked the 40 meter goal.

North fans would have been hearted to see what happened next, a four goal streak as the Kangaroos took charge for the first time. One to Zurhaar, two to Larkey, and one to Stephenson. But the margin was too much to overcome and Josh Daicos steadied the ship with a goal. Late goals to Bailey for North and Hoskin-Elliot kicking his second for the Magpies saw both teams play the game out to the end.  

It was Collingwood's day to celebrate though, taking the four points after winning by 35 points.  

It was a clinical display from the Magpies today. Sometimes teams find it hard to get up when playing teams at the bottom of the ladder but they were well organized and disciplined. De Goey, Mitchell, and the Daicos brothers gave them huge drive out of the middle. For the Kangaroos a long hard season continues, but there were some good signs with Larkey and Stephenson working well up forward and Greenwood, Scott, and Phillips all playing well.   

Both teams lined up after shaking hands in a guard of honor for Steele Sidebottom as he was chaired off by team mates Pendlebury and Adams. 

COLLINGWOOD:     4.3 7.5 13.8 16.9  (105)
NORTH MELBOURNE: 0.3 2.8  4.9 10.10  (70) 

Collingwood:     Mihocek 3, J.Daicos 3, Ginnivan 2, Cox 2, Hoskin-Elliot 2, N.Daicos, De Goey, Adams, Johnson
North Melbourne: Larkey 5, Stephenson 2, Howe, Zurhaar, Scott

Collingwood:     De Goey, J.Daicos, Mitchell, N.Daicos
North Melbourne: Greenwood, Larkey, Scott, Phillips

Collingwood:     Steele Sidebottom (knee)
North Melbourne: None

Collingwood:     Hoskin-Elliot (replaced Sidebottom in the 1st quarter)
North Melbourne: Curtis (replaced Spicer in the 3rd quarter)

Crowd: 39,467 at Marvel Stadium

Article last changed on Thursday, June 01, 2023 - 3:23 PM EDT


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