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Match report:Magpies home in classic

Magpies sing the song Watch Collingwood celebrate in the rooms after the game

COLLINGWOOD has held off a rampaging Geelong to win the re-match of the 2011 Grand Finalists by 12 points.

The Magpies led all night, but Geelong swung the momentum around in the final quarter before Collingwood rallied to win 14.12 (96) to 11.18 (84).

The Cats leveled the scores with less than two minutes remaining, but a contentious umpiring decision to award Alex Fasolo a 50-metre penalty after contact from Josh Hunt after Fasolo marked on the wing returned Collingwood a lead they never relinquished.

Collingwood had a tough ask to retain that lead in the final quarter. Not only was Geelong on the march, but the Magpies had only one interchange rotation available after a hamstring injury to Dane Swan and a quad injury to Ben Reid. The Pies had earlier substituted Alan Didak in the third quarter.

Scott Pendlebury's poise with the ball and ability to find space in heavy traffic was once again evident in his 30 disposals, but he added another dimension to his game with four goals, including the first and last of the game.

Pendlebury's game earned praise from Magpies coach Nathan Buckley for his persistence in what was at times a frustrating night.

"I didn't think he had the game on his terms at any time, which when you see his output, sounds counter-intuitive because his ability to influence the game was massive, especially in that last quarter," Buckley said after the game.

"I really think he had to grind this performance out which is the sign of a very good player."

Steele Sidebottom continued his good recent form with 38 touches, while Swan worked his way into the game after a slow start.

Grand Final rematches are often better spectacles than the previous meetings between sides in September, but for the first three quarters this was an exception to the rule.

Both teams struggled with their disposal and their kicking for goal, with the Cats paying most for their inaccuracy.

Geelong had the run of play for much of the third term but just couldn't convert, booting 1.6 for the quarter. Tom Hawkins exerted his authority with strong leads against opponent Ben Reid, but let himself down when kicking for goal. Hawkins finished with 2.4 on a frustrating night.

Joel Selwood was inspirational for his work around the ground and typically fearless approach to the contest, finishing the match with 36 touches.

Corey Enright gave Geelong plenty of drive off half-back in the first half, while Mathew Stokes was dangerous up forward, kicking three goals including two crucial majors late in the game.

Cats coach Chris Scott admitted his team had its chances to secure the win despite trailing all night.

"I don't think it's fair on the opposition to say that we should have won it, but we were supremely confident in the box and I think the boys were as well," Scott said.

"It just didn't go our way. We lost the crucial contests at the wrong time. But I thought in that last quarter we just dominated. I mean, 23 inside 50s in a quarter of footy is a domination. We had some gilt-edged chances to convert from right in front, and we missed them."

Collingwood         3.6    7.9    10.11    14.12 (96)
Geelong                2.4    6.6    7.12     11.18 (84)

Collingwood: Pendlebury 4, Fasolo 3, Goldsack 2, Cloke 2, Swan, Blair, Dawes
Geelong: Podsiadly 2, Duncan 2, Hawkins 2, Stokes 2, Motlop, Chapman, Stokes

Collingwood: Pendlebury, Sidebottom, Wellingham, Shaw, Goldsack, Beams
Geelong: Selwood, Johnson, Taylor, Kelly, Enright, Bartel
Collingwood: Dane Swan (hamstring), Ben Reid (quad)
Geelong: Matthew Scarlett (ankle) replaced in selected side by Billie Smedts
Collingwood: Simon Buckley replaced Alan Didak in the third quarter
Geelong: Jesse Stringer replaced Billie Smedts in the third quarter

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Stevic, Meredith, Findlay

Official crowd: 75,650 at the MCG

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the club.