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VFL: Pipped at the post

A last gasp goal to Eamon O’Connor denied Collingwood's VFL team a come-from-behind victory against the Northern Blues at Visy Park on Saturday.

The Magpies managed only one goal in the first half but found their feet in the second half. They were poised to record their second practice match victory of the pre-season when Sam Williams produced two snaps in the final quarter in heavy traffic.

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His second was a beauty, shrugging a tackle and hooking the ball tightly over his left shoulder.

A win wasn’t to be, however, with the Blues pinching victory with only a minute remaining.

Five AFL-listed Collingwood players were selected. Draftee Corey Gault and rookies Trent Stubbs, Lachlan Smith, Paul Cribbin and Shae McNamara all took their place in the side and each performed credibly.

Nineteen-year-old Gault played mostly at centre half forward and worked his way into the game in the second half. Smith and Cribbin were employed mostly at half back and both found plenty of the ball. For the second week running, Smith was able to mop up the play across centre half back where his second efforts and persistence were the features of his play.

Cribbin took the bulk of the kick outs and performed well, generally choosing safe options when clearing the backline. He played alongside McNamara who didn’t register a high possession count but took a handful of clever grabs one-on-one where he used his body well against Northern Blues’ ruckman Nick Meese.

Find out more about Collingwood's VFL team here.

In his second game of the season, Stubbs had a solid if unspectacular afternoon in the midfield and at half forward where he gathered eight possessions and a tackle. While he wasn’t a high possession winner, Stubbs, who turns 20 later this month, used the ball well and set up some of Collingwood’s attacking forays late in the game.

Of the VFL listed players, Brede Seccull was in everything. The onballer had 20 possessions and eight tackles. He was well supported by Ricky Ferraro and Cathal Corr who pulled their weight in the midfield and in attack. Back pocket Nick Riddle again impressed with his discipline and closing speed.

The VFL Magpies take on Geelong’s VFL team at Simonds Stadium next weekend. will again provide full coverage of the match.

Collingwood 0.1, 1.2, 3.2, 6.2 (38)
Northern Blues 1.5, 2.6, 3.8, 5.10 (40)

Goals -  Corr 2, Williams 2, Seccull, De Bruin.

Disposals - Seccull 20, Ferraro 16, Cribbin 15, Corr 15, Flynn 12, Heagney-Steart 12.