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ANZAC double blockbuster

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It started on Friday when Collingwood survived a last-quarter challenge from Essendon to win a pulsating AFL Anzac Day clash by 23 points.

It ends with a top of the table clash between Port and Geelong at Adelaide Oval on Sunday evening.

In the first classic of this double blockbuster round the Magpies turned around a 37-point deficit early in the second quarter to win 12.11 (83) to 8.12 (60) in front of 91,731 fans at the MCG.

It gives Collingwood an 11-8 advantage over Essendon, plus one draw, in the annual blockbuster which was first played in 1995.

Magpies star Dane Swan returned to form and won the Anzac Medal, kicking four goals.

Captain Scott Pendlebury and fellow midfielder Dayne Beams were also outstanding.

Swan’s fourth goal at 19 minutes into the last term sealed the result after Essendon pulled to within eight points earlier in the quarter.

Collingwood are on a roll with their third straight win, while Essendon are in trouble after losing their last three.

Dyson Heppell was best for the Bombers, but too many key players were down.

Captain Jobe Watson struggled against Brent Macaffer’s tag and key forward Jake Carlisle again had a poor match.

The win could come at a cost for Collingwood, with Alex Fasolo subbed out in the third term with a foot injury.

Clinton Young also was forced out of the game in the third quarter and will come under video scrutiny for high contact with Paul Chapman.

In a remarkable first half 11 of 12 goals were kicked at the Punt Rd end as first Essendon and then Collingwood dominated.

Essendon led by 31 points at quarter time and then kicked the first goal of the second term for their 37-point break.

They were on the verge of killing off the game, but Collingwood did not let the rubber band snap.

Jessie White, one of Collingwood’s best, kicked their first goal eight minutes into the second term.

With Young dominating across the centre, Collingwood gradually took control.

Pendlebury also was pivotal in the second term, although he blotted his copybook slightly with two poor missed set shots at goal in the first half.

Steele Sidebottom was pivotal with three goals in the second term.

His third meant the scores were tied at the long break.

The third quarter was a grinding battle where Collingwood kept turning the screw and broke to an 18-point lead.

Swan produced two moments of brilliance, firstly making Essendon backman Cale Hooker relive his MCG boundary nightmare.

Swan took two bounces and kicked a brilliant goal in a play not dissimilar to what Lance Franklin did on Hooker in the same forward pocket.

Swan then fended off Mark Bauley and kicked a brilliant running goal.

The surprise selection of Essendon defender Courtenay Dempsey proved a fizzer.

He was subbed on in the third term and the intensity of the game clearly caught him out.

COLLINGWOOD 0.3 6.5 9.7 12.11 (83)
ESSENDON 5.4 6.5 6.7 8.12 (60)
Goals: Collingwood: D Swan 4 S Sidebottom 3 J White 2 B Grundy J Elliott T Goldsack. Essendon: B Stanton J Daniher J Melksham J Merrett J Watson J Winderlich P Ryder Z Merrett.
Umpires: Ray Chamberlain, Mathew Nicholls, Luke Farmer.
Official Crowd: 91,731 at MCG.

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