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Magpies' midfield mayhem sinks Dees

Magpie Globetrotters Dane Swan shows a little magic and Blair finishes with a goal.
Sharrod Wellingham takes a huge grab during the win against Melbourne
COLLINGWOOD has produced a midfield masterclass to overpower Melbourne in a bruising Queen's Birthday clash at the MCG on Monday.

The Pies' class through the middle of the ground proved too much for the Demons in an otherwise combative game, which the Pies eventually won 19.15 (129) to 13.9 (87).

Watch all the highlights and Alan Didak's injury on CTV.

The victory lifted Collingwood to the top of the AFL ladder.

The game was won in the first quarter when the Magpies kicked six goals without conceding a major. A determined Melbourne fought back but it could not bridge the gap.

After Collingwood kicked the first eight goals of the game, Melbourne kicked six of the next seven to draw to within 24 points late in the third quarter.

But the Magpies put the result beyond doubt with three goals in three minutes at the start of the final quarter.

Collingwood was too strong around the ball. If it didn't win it first, it dispossessed the hapless Demons, intimidating them with ferocious intensity.

Dayne Beams, Dane Swan and Jarryd Blair won the ball at will and dished it out to runners such as Dale Thomas, Sharrod Wellingham and Steele Sidebottom.

The only downside was the injury to Alan Didak in the first minute. He was subbed off before the five-minute mark after taking a kick for goal with what was suspected to be a torn adductor muscle.
 
More on Didak's injury.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said the team had come prepared for a solid game of football and got one.

"I thought after we got off to a good start they played really solid footy," Buckley said. "We were in a real arm wrestle that we had to extend ourselves to get the better of."
 
Things were looking grim for the Demons until Jeremy Howe - the shining light in the first half with an amazing five contested marks - kicked the first goal at the 15 minute mark of the second quarter.
 
In the coaches box Mark Neeld was wishing he had the chance to call for a time-out to right the ship. "We were overrun," Neeld said. "The speed of ball movement we didn't deal with very well at all. We were behind in clearances, contested possessions [and] tackling ... you can't win quarters if you can't get those near on competitive."
 
The Melbourne players, who had made a pact after the Sydney Swans loss to never concede, fought hard and were winning vital contests.
 
While Buckley said the Demons structured up well, Neeld was looking at the game as a whole - some positives mixed in with a very ordinary first quarter where the finals-type football Collingwood played overwhelmed the Demons.

Collingwood now hasn't lost a Queen's Birthday match since 2007.

Only mistakes at critical times - particularly one from Cale Morton early in the third quarter that cost the Demons a goal - let the team down.

Collingwood was forced to lift. Melbourne hit bodies hard and tackled hard. Nathan Jones and Jack Grimes were tireless and Mitch Clark dynamic with three goals in the third quarter.

But the Magpies were too good. They kicked nine goals to six in the last quarter to run out winners.

"We had to work harder in the second half to get it [the game] back on our terms," Buckley said.

MELBOURNE            0.4       3.4       7.7.       13.9   (87)                  
COLLINGWOOD      6.3      8.9      10.15    19.15   (129)          
 
GOALS
Melbourne:
Clark 4, Howe 2, Dunn 2, Magner, Sylvia, Rivers, Trengove, Blease
Collingwood: Sinclair 3, Wellingham 2, Goldsack 2, Cloke 2, Fasolo 2, Blair 2, Swan 2, Jolly 2, Sidebottom, Beams
 
BEST
Melbourne:
Clark, Jones, Howe, Grimes, Watts, McKenzie
Collingwood: Swan, Beams, Sidebottom, Blair, Wellingham, Sinclair, Goldsack, Fasolo
 
INJURIES
Melbourne:
Brad Green (groin), Colin Sylvia (suspected broken nose)
Collingwood: Alan Didak (groin)
 
SUBSTITUTES
Melbourne:
Brad Green (groin) replaced at three-quarter time by Lynden Dunn
Collingwood: Alan Didak (groin) replaced by Tom Young in the first quarter
 
Reports: Nil
 
Umpires: Stevic, Nicholls, Bannister
 
Official crowd: 64, 250 at the MCG
 
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs