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Martin's six sinks Essendon

Kyle Martin proves that winners are grinners. Photo: Shane Barrie.
Collingwood has won consecutive VFL games for the first time since early 2011 after trumping fellow standalone team Essendon by nine points on Saturday.

Rookie midfielder Kyle Martin was outstanding, gathering 27 possessions, laying 10 tackles and kicking a career-high six goals.

He had great support from Josh Thomas (26 possessions) and Ben Moloney (20 possessions) while ruckman Ben Hudson made sure his onballers were well fed all afternoon, winning 29 hitouts to go with his 21 possessions and seven clearances.

“It was pleasing to win our second game in a row which we haven’t done for two or three years,” Development Manager Craig McRae told after the match.

“We started slowly. They had 21 AFL-listed players which we respected so it was really pleasing to get the game on our terms. In the end to fight it out in a high quality game, it was pleasing to get the result in the end.”

McRae was happy to sing the praises of Martin (who won the Bluestar Logistics Medal as best on ground) as well as experienced trio Ben Johnson, Alan Didak and Hudson.

“Kyle’s had 10 tackles and he’s kicked six goals and is playing AFL football at VFL level. That’s pleasing.

“Didak and Johnson with their experience around the contest continue to be really important at this level.

“’Huddo’ as well at crucial times in the game just to save the goals through spoils or winning clearances for us is really standing out.”

The match was also notable for the return of Lachlan Keeffe from a knee reconstruction plus the debut of Brodie Grundy, the club’s first selection in last year’s National Draft.

While neither contributed heavily on the stat sheet (Keeffe had six disposals and two marks while Grundy had eight disposals, three marks and 10 hitouts), McRae said that the coaching staff was pleased that the pair simply got through the game without incident after recovering from long term injuries.

“To be honest we didn’t have great expectations with those guys. We just wanted them to get through because they’ve been out of the game for a while.

“’Keeffey’ came back and showed great leadership down there. He was very vocal so it’s pleasing for him to get through.

“Brodie got better as the game went on I felt. In the last quarter around the contests he was showing what he was capable of. It’s good to have those guys back.”

Collingwood’s next VFL encounter will be against the Northern Blues at Preston City Oval next Saturday.

Collingwood   4.5  9.10  15.11  18.14 (122)
Essendon       5.3  9.5  14.8  17.11 (113)

Goals - Collingwood: Martin 6, Paine 3, Broomhead 2, Moloney 2, Richmond, Ferguson, Didak, Hudson, Mooney
Essendon: Daniher 5, Dell'Olio 5, Bate 3, Gleeson 2, Knowles, Hunter

Best - Collingwood: Martin, Hudson, Moloney, Thomas, Broomhead, Oxley
Essendon: Gumbleton,Hardingham, Daniher, Dell'Olio, Dalgleish, Duscher

At Victoria Park