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Magpies hold off spirited Bombers

Saturday, 12th March, 2011

BEST AFIELD: Heath Shaw won the Michael Tuck Medal.  PHOTO: Lachlan Cunningham., Slattery Images. BEST AFIELD: Heath Shaw won the Michael Tuck Medal. PHOTO: Lachlan Cunningham., Slattery Images.

Essendon trailed by just three points at 10 minutes into the last quarter before the Magpies powered away to win 1.15.9 (108) to 0.13.8 (86) last night at Etihad Stadium.
Collingwood defender Heath Shaw won the Michael Tuck medal as best afield, while Leon Davis was also outstanding as he continues to relish his new role as a defender.
Chris Dawes and Andrew Krakouer kicked three goals apiece for Collingwood in front of 45,304 fans.
Essendon forward Michael Hurley was crucial in their comeback when they looked gone early in the third term and he starred with three goals.
Collingwood’s only pre-season premiership came in 1979 and it is also the first for three-time premiership coach Mick Malthouse in his 27-year coaching career.
Essendon was in trouble at times, but they steadied impressively in the second half to cap an encouraging pre-season under new coach James Hird.
They trailed by 23 points at the last stage before Hurley kicked two out of three goals as they nearly took the lead.
But the ‘Pies, the pre-game favourites, steadied with a four-goal run to kill off the challenge.
Earlier, Collingwood had kicked two goals at the start of the third term for a 34-point lead and they looked in complete control.
Then the Magpies somehow made two interchange infringements in the space of a minute as the game turned.
The first infringement resulted in an Essendon goal and at the same time the Bombers were lifting their intensity.
By 26 minutes into the third term, Essendon only trailed by 10 points.
Then two goals to Collingwood, including Travis Cloke’s accurate snap right on the siren appeared to blunt the comeback.
While Shaw was brilliant off halfback, Davis and Krakouer continued to be great early season stories. - AAP

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