Fremantle were unlikely winners today at the MCG. In a match where neither side ever looked fully in control the Dockers held their nerve and pushed harder than the Magpies in the second half. A late mark and goal to "Sonny" Walters seeing the Dockers home by four points.
Collingwood went into today’s match sitting second on the ladder and strong favorites to win at home against Fremantle. American Mason Cox remained on the sidelines with injury as Ben Reid continues to fill his spot up forward and backup Brody Grundy in the ruck.
The Magpies wasted little time getting the ball into their forward 50 and it was Jordan de Goey who kicked the first goal with just 40 seconds on the clock. The visitors from the west had a job on their hands in defense and were fortunate that de Goey and Mihocek both missed goals they should have kicked. The open footy style early suited the Magpies.
Fremantle began to close the game down and looked more competitive. Jesse Hogan marked strongly on the lead 40 meters out on a 45-degree angle and his kick was good for the six points. The now dour contest, with each side trying to maintain possession as a priority, was tough going but finally the deadlock was broken by Ethan Hughes intercepting the ball at the top of the 50 and kicking a goal on the run to put the Dockers in front. The reply came almost immediately when Ben Reid was blocked from the marking contest deep in the forward pocket. He snapped truly to level the scores.
Brad Hill sprinted 100 meters to swoop on the ball that spilled over the contest and dribbled it home for the Docker’s third goal for the match. Once again though Collingwood were able to respond as Pendlebury converted his set shot for a goal to leave the score at 3.3 (3 goals and 3 behinds) each at quarter time.
Lobb took it up to the Grundy who has been in red hot form this season and the Fremantle on-ballers in Fyfe and Mundy were able to halve the contest regularly with Pendlebury and Mayne as a result. It took seven minutes until the first goal of the second quarter came from a de Goey rove and snap from the boundary line. The game opened up a little for the Magpies as they went wide around the boundary line. Stephenson marked on the boundary 40 meters out and kicked it straight between the big sticks.
Varcoe marked at the top of the attacking 50 and rather than take the kick he dished a handball to Beams who goalled on the run. Four unanswered goals in a row to the Magpies would be concerning to Fremantle coach Ross Lyon as the match began to slip away from the Dockers. Rory Lobb was the man to steady the Dockers ship as he was pushed out of the contest by Grundy at the top of the goal square. Grundy limped off the ground as Lobb kicked the goal. The remainder of the quarter was an arm wrestle and both sides turned the ball over too many times to score. At the long break of an uninspiring half of footy, Collingwood lead by 13 points.
Fremantle took the initiative early in the third quarter and although some of their work inside 50 was untidy, they looked confident with the ball for the first time in the game. Michael Walters had been a major contributor around the ball and he chipped a short kick into Ed Langdon inside 50 and he went back and kicked his first goal of the match for the Dockers. Walters was again in the thick of it a minute later when he snapped out of the pack from 40 meters out to bring the scores level once again.
Collingwood took the ball to their forward 50 for the first time in the quarter but a big turnover put the ball out front of Brad Hill and he skimmed the ball through the goal. Again, Walters having a key hand in the ball movement for the Dockers. Hogan added the fourth unanswered goal for the Dockers after another turnover by the Magpies at halfback proved costly.
Collingwood’s chances this quarter were few, then Callum Brown looked to have pulled one back for the Magpies, but his kick from the pocket hit the post and Collingwood trailed by 14 points. Finally, it was Will Hoskin-Elliot who kicked the first goal for the Magpies for the quarter with 25 minutes on the clock.
The Magpies continued to push and added another before the siren when de Goey marked and played on to snap the goal from the pocket with just 90 seconds left on the clock. After the ball up in the middle that 90 seconds turned out to be just one second short for the Magpies as Sidebottom took the goal at the top of the goal square but could not get the kick away before the siren sounded. At three quarter time the lead to the Dockers was just four points and Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley would be thankful that the Dockers failed to maximize on their time in the forward 50 that quarter. Fremantle would go into the final quarter one many down with defender Alex Pearce out of the match with an ankle injury.
The Magpies started the final quarter brilliantly. Pendlebury lifted the Collingwood crowd early in the quarter when he snapped from the pocket under pressure on his left for a goal. Reid received a free kick for high contact as he was over the ball near the boundary on the 50 meter arc. After missing earlier in the day, he made no mistake this time and his long kick was a major score and gave the Pies an 8-point lead. The Dockers did not lie down though, and Brandon Matera marked and converted his set shot from 48 meters out from goal. They kept coming but Moore and Howe marked well in defense to deny them.
Josh Thomas gave the Magpies the 8-point lead back when his long set shot was a goal following a dubious free kick. Both teams tried to get something happening up forward but were inaccurate. Eventually it was a coast to coast clearance by the Dockers that ended with Matera out the back inside 50 on his own that kicked an easy goal.
Nat Fyfe was awarded a free kick in the marking contest just forward of the wing. His mongrel torpedo punt dropped short into the arms of Michael "Sonny" Walters 30 meters out straight in front. He calmly slotted home the goal and gave the Dockers the lead with just 27 seconds on the clock. From the clearance it was Matera that marked inside 50 and his shot after the siren fell short with his team mates already celebrating.
A remarkable victory for the visiting Western Australian team at the MCG against last year’s runners up. The first win by the Dockers against the Magpies here since 2006. One key decision form earlier in the game might have seen the result go the other way. The goal review appeared to have checked whether Sidebottom had touched the ball on the goal line, when actually it seemed that Mayne touched the shot for goal off the boot of Walters and that was where the review should have been focused. The goal stood when in all likelihood it should be resulted in a behind.
COLLINGWOOD: 3.3 6.5 8.6 11.9 (75) FREMANTLE: 3.3 4.4 8.10 11.13 (79) GOALS Collingwood: de Goey 3, Pendlebury 2, Reid 2, Stephenson, Beams, Hoskin-Elliott, Thomas Fremantle: Walters 2, Hill 2, Hogan 2, Matera 2, Hughes, Lobb, Langdon BEST Collingwood: Pendlebury, Maynard, Crisp, Treloar, Howe, Grundy Fremantle: Fyfe, Hill, Wilson, Walters, Blakely, Langdon INJURIES Collingwood: Nil Fremantle: Pearce (ankle) Reports: Nil Umpires: Fleer, Whetton, Meredith Official crowd: 41,774 at the MCG
Article last changed on Saturday, June 01, 2019 - 12:56 PM EDT