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VFL Pies outclassed in practice match

Rookie Mitch McCarthy kicked three goals in the VFL Magpies 48-point practice-match loss to Footscray at the Holden Centre. Photo: Shane Barrie.

Despite an array of AFL talent lining up at the Holden Centre, the Footscray Bulldogs proved too much to handle as they downed the VFL Magpies by 48 points in preseason action on Friday afternoon.

In what was only an 18-point deficit at the main break, the Dogs stormed home in the second half, kicking eight goals to three after half time.

With Collingwood’s AFL season opener kicking off across the road at the MCG, a cheerful home crowd wasn’t enough to help push the Magpies across the line in their second hit out of their pre-season.

Despite the lopsided score line, small forward Kayle Kirby put on a show in front the Magpie Army, kicking three goals – including one from the impossible angle – and taking a spectacular mark midway through the third term.

He was joined by former basketballer and Collingwood rookie, Mitch McCarthy, who looked lively up forward as a key forward target, kicking three goals of his own.

With plenty of miskicks and rusty skills from both sides, it was 18-year-old Josh Daicos who looked a class above with his precise disposal and clean hands up on the wing.

165-AFL-game veteran Lynden Dunn stood tall in defence, as he directed traffic and barked orders at his younger counterparts across the back 50.

But not even Dunn could withhold the Bulldogs’ attacking pressure, as they pounced on every loose ball and hit the free target all afternoon.

The Magpies fought back in the second term, kicking four goals, but their spirited efforts were matched by the Dogs who added to their dominant first quarter performance.

Next week, the VFL Magpies meet Richmond in a curtain-raiser ahead of the Round 2 Collingwood-Richmond AFL battle on Thursday evening.

The VFL squad will line-up at 4:00pm at Punt Road Oval, before closing out their preseason against North Ballarat at the Holden Centre the following week.

Collingwood’s four national draftees were on display at the Holden Centre on Friday afternoon, with Kayle Kirby starring in the forward line with four goals. Midfielder Josh Daicos impressed, while Callum Brown and Sam McLarty looked promising. Rookie-drafted forward Mitch McCarthy exhibited his beautiful set shot, kicking three goals in a tough loss.

From Hawk to Magpie, midfielder Alex Woodward played a solid first half in his second preseason hit out. You wouldn’t have been able to tell that ‘Woody’ (as he is affectionately known) has returned to football following three knee reconstructions. Ryan Pendlebury captained the team in place of Jack Hellier, while tough midfielder Gus Borthwick didn’t let up in a hard-fought midfield battle.

Matthew Scharenberg looked at home in defence at the Holden Centre, as he bounced around with a bundle of energy in VFL action. Lachie Keeffe continued in his new position as a forward, kicking one goal in a tough day at the office. Josh Thomas, Adam Oxley and Ben Crocker were all kept relatively quiet, but will be pushing for AFL selection in the coming weeks.

Collingwood v Footscray
Friday 24 March, 4:15pm
Holden Centre

Collingwood       2.1    6.1     7.4     9.8    (62)
Geelong             5.0    9.2     12.8   17.8  (110)

GOALS: Kirby 3, McCarthy 3, Keeffe, Thomas, Borthwick
COLLINGWOOD MEDIA’S BEST: Kirby, McCarthy, Dunn, Daicos, Woodward