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Dockers and Magpies in a Thriller

Drawn game (Dave Woodley/AFANA)

The Fremantle Dockers and the Collingwood Magpies played out a dramatic draw in front of a heaving crowd of 54,035 at Optus Stadium. The contest wasn't spectacular but was a dour struggle of tough contested football where neither team was prepared to give an inch. The undermanned Magpies picked up two more injuries during the match (Mason Cox and Brody Mihocek), but the team fought to the very end against a desperate home side. The Dockers jumped the Magpies early, locking the ball in their forward half with the assistance strong defensive marks (catches) by their captain Alex Pearce. After three minutes of play, Fremantle forward Josh Treacy received a free kick for a high tackle and threaded the needle from the boundary, to give the home team a positive start. Two minutes later the Magpies transitioned the ball from defense finishes with slick handpasses from Bobby Hill and Patrick Lipinski which resulted in a clever goal by youngster Harvey Harrison. Three minutes later the Dockers pushed forward to a marking contest in their goal square, where wingman Jeremy Sharp swooped in for an opportunistic soccer-style goal when the ball came off hands. Three minutes later the Dockers brought the ball from defense with Andrew Brayshaw on the end of a chain of possessions and he finished with a polished a running goal from forty meters.

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Magpies Hold Off Gallant Giants for Grand Final Date

Collingwood banner (Densham/AFANA)

Greater Western Sydney captain Toby Greene won the toss and kicked to the Punt Rd end. With the pinnacle of his footy career in his mind, the Preliminary final against Richmond in 2018, American Mason Cox started in the ruck and won the first hit out. His teammate McStay drew two huge cheers from the predominantly Collingwood crowd first when he marked and then when he connected for a goal from 30 meters out. Jack Crisp doubled the score with a quick kick off a step and off the outside of the boot to kick the Magpies second goal. The nearly 98,000 in the crowd (almost all Magpie fans) were ecstatic.

Now the Giants had their turn when Irishman Callum Brown was put in range with a 50 meter penalty but a poor kick off the boot went wide to give the Giants their first but single point. McStay came from the back of the pack to somehow lead to the ball and marked strongly 20 meters but missed the shot on goal. Mihocek added another point for the Pies behind before quarter time, while Riccardi and Daniels added singles for the Giants. 

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Swans Defeat Collingwood in One Point Thriller

The Swans are going to the Grand Final

The Sydney Swans survived a stirring comeback by Collingwood to claim a one point victory in an epic Preliminary final overnight at a sold-out Sydney Cricket Ground. In front of 45,608 screaming fans, Sydney looked to have the game comfortably in its keeping when it went out to a six goal lead when Logan McDonald kicked a goal early in the third term. Collingwood however, as it has all season, refused to go away, kicking three of the next four goals to remain within striking distance heading into the final stanza. 

The Magpies resurgence coincided with an injury to the most potent forward on the ground in Sam Reid, the Sydney forward suffering a groin injury that sent him to the bench for the rest of the game - and potentially missing next weekend’s Grand Final against a red hot Geelong.

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Giants Stand Tall Again; Defeat Magpies

A Giant Victory

This was supposed to be a one sided affair. The in-form Collingwood taking on the injury hit and sixth seeded Greater Western Sydney Giants with the result surely leading to a Richmond vs Collingwood Grand Final, to the delight of the AFL and Melburnians. The only problem with this narrative was that the Giants didn’t read the script.

In one of the biggest surprises in recent Preliminary Final history, GWS stunned the locals by first taking a big lead, then by defending grimly when a late Collingwood surge looked like taking the Magpies back to the Grand Final in consecutive seasons. The end result shows the Giants winning by just 4 points, but so much happened throughout this game. A frantic last quarter, that a crowd of mostly 70,000 strong Collingwood fans were left as empty shells in a roller coaster of a final.

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