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Pies' kids fall short

NAB: Dale's big grab Dale Thomas takes a big grab and kicks the goal against Melbourne in the NAB Cup
Collingwood fell nine-points short of an impressive Melbourne in an intriguing battle at Etihad Stadium in round two of the NAB Cup on Saturday night.

In a match that came to life late, Melbourne kicked four consecutive goals midway through the last quarter to put the tight contest beyond doubt to prevail 0.11.13 (79) to 1.9.7 (70).

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Magpies coach Nathan Buckley was disappointed that his team was defeated in some key statistical measures.

"Melbourne outnumbered us at the contest more often than we did, they smacked in harder than we did for contested ball, and that's pretty much why you saw the contested ball and tackle count the way it was," he said.

In the first half, the Demons unveiled an impressive attack on the ball but often couldn't capitalise during a scrappy first half.

Collingwood, on the other hand, was able to take a one point lead into the long break through the silk of senior players such as Scott Pendlebury, Dale Thomas and Ben Reid.

The Demons then broke the game open in the third quarter with four consecutive goals before the Magpies hit back - a Heath Shaw supergoal on the siren reducing the margin to just three points at the final break.

Melbourne then burst out of the blocks in the last quarter to open up another handy break, before holding on to secure a confidence-boosting victory.
 
While the similarities between the teams were obvious - both sides moved the ball around the boundary line - differences were also evident.
 
Collingwood was much quicker to spread and looked dangerous when its runners got the ball outside. While the contested ball count was tight, Collingwood dominated Melbourne in uncontested possessions.

Collingwood also had class on its side, with Thomas and Pendlebury standing out on more than one occasion. The Magpies' superior ball movement was evident in the first half as they scored their goals through moments of brilliance, while Melbourne's goals came from turnovers forced through hard work.
 
The Magpies were tinkering too, with key forward Chris Dawes contesting the ruck at centre bounces on occasions.
 
Melbourne's effort could not be questioned, with Jack Watts - playing as a deep forward - the only big name that failed to win much of the ball. The Demons' on-ballers battled hard and their defence, led by Colin Garland, James Frawley and recruit James Sellar, was very good.
 
Melbourne rookies James Magner and Tom Couch were very prominent around the ball too, with Magner's effort to push on and gather consecutive possessions after receiving a knock to the leg in the second quarter further evidence that he is a player who will give his all every minute of every game.

For Collingwood Peter Yagmoor looks promising. He has a beautiful left foot kick and a smooth, fluent gait.

Melbourne supporters would be heartened while Collingwood has few worries although it remains reliant on its gun players.

Collingwood 0.2.3, 0.4.4, 1.6.5, 1.9.7 (70)
Melbourne 0.2.6, 0.3.9, 0.7.12, 0.11.13 (79)

GOALS - Collingwood: Shaw (supergoal), Thomas 2, Rounds 2, Cloke, Maxwell, Paine, Ceglar, Ball
Melbourne: Petterd 2, Martin 2, Jones 2, Dunn 2, Howe, Green, Sylvia

BEST - Collingwood: Pendlebury, Thomas, Shaw, Yagmoor, Reid
Melbourne: Garland, Petterd, Magner, Jones, Sellar, Green
 
INJURIES - Collingwood: Nil
Melbourne: Nil
 
Reports: Nil
Umpires: Stevic, Armstrong, Kronk
Official crowd: 12,954 at Etihad Stadium

Collingwood Squad:
1. Alex Fasolo,  5. Nick Maxwell, 9. Martin Clarke, 10. Scott Pendlebury, 12.    Luke Ball, 13. Dale Thomas, 14. Luke Rounds, 18. Darren Jolly, 20. Ben Reid, 21. Sharrod Wellingham, 22. Steele Sidebottom, 23. Lachlan Keeffe, 25. Tom Young, 27. Simon Buckley, 28. Ben Sinclair, 29. Jonathan Ceglar, 31. Chris Dawes, 32. Travis Cloke, 33. Jackson Paine, 34. Alan Toovey, 36. Dane Swan, 37. Kirk Ugle, 38. Peter Yagmoor. 39. Heath Shaw, 46. Marley Williams, 47. Michael Hartley, 48. Caolan Mooney, 49. Paul Cribbin, 50. Shae McNamara

Collingwood Substitutes:
First Half - 22. Steele Sidebottom, 29. Jonathan Ceglar
Second Half - 49. Paul Cribbin, 50. Shae McNamara