Collingwood’s eleven game winning streak has come to an end after suffering a 27-point defeat to Essendon at Victoria Park on Saturday.
The loss is just the Pies’ second for the season so far with the Bombers walking away victorious, 3.4 (22) to 7.7 (49).
The Bombers were strong from the onset, bringing a fierce attacking style and strong defensive pressure that remained consistent throughout the four quarters.
With several of its AFLW-listed players rested for the match, Collingwood’s VFLW Magpies were given the opportunity to step up.
Despite the disappointing result, there were positive signs from the Pies’ young group. But at times, the home side appeared nervous and struggled to move the ball cleanly, resulting in several unforced errors.
Although the Pies’ held a single point lead at the first break, they were left trailing the opposition for the remainder of the match.
The second term was most damaging for the Pies as the Bombers charged forward at goal. Georgia Patrikios was quick to reclaim the lead for the Dons, before goals from Alexandra Quigley and Monique Dematteo soon followed.
Better signs came in the third for the home side with their defenders appearing more consolidated, allowing them to hold the front position and be first to the ball.
With the Pies offering greater accountability and smarter ball use, forward, Rebecca Grant managed to capitalise in her season debut, piling two consecutive goals on the scoreboard early in the third.
But in the end, the Dons were just too good, booting another two goals in the final term, while the Pies could only scrape on two behinds.
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Rebecca Grant said the game was a good challenge for the Pies but acknowledged there’s some work to be done.
“We had 23 solid contributors out there today but Essendon are just such a strong side who were really physical and ran through the footy,” Grant told collingwoodfc.com.au.
“It was up to us to tackle and approach that with confidence. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win but there’s a lot to take out of today."
Down back, Katie Lee brought a strong attacking style of defence and applied great pressure in the one on one contest. Nicole Hales also had a solid performance taking several strong intercept marks to limit the Dons’ opportunities at goal.
Alana Porter and Caitlin Bunker were tough through the midfield, creating good options around the ball and managed to hit targets.
Bomber, Maighan Fogas was a powerhouse up forward who was quick to the ball and marked strongly, even managing to claim the opening goal of the match.
Georgia Patrikios and Monique Dematteo were also dominant for the Dons, both were swift around the ball, allowing them to claim two majors each.
Collingwood have one final opportunity to seal another win on the board before the finals series when it heads to Box Hill next Saturday, August 24 to take on Hawthorn in the last match of the home and away season.
Collingwood 1.1 1.2 3.2 3.4 (22)
Essendon 1.2 4.6 5.7 7.7 (49)
Goals – Collingwood: R.Grant 2, Lynch
Essendon: Patrikios 2, Dematteo 2 Fogas, Quigley, Stepnell
Best – Collingwood: A.Porter, Lee, Bunker, Xenos, Hales, R. Grant.
Essendon: Patrikios, Nanscawen, McIntosh, Ahrens, Nalder, Fogas.