Party Pies stun slow-starting Cats in AFL

Collingwood blitzed AFL premiership favourites Geelong on Saturday to record a stunning 24-point upset win at the MCG.

The Magpies both shocked and awed by kicking seven unanswered first-quarter goals on their way to 16.8 (104) to 11.14 (80) victory.

Geelong spent the rest of the match chasing the contest, and were within reach of completing the comeback when Tom Hawkins booted two goals in the final term.

After leading by 44 points at quarter-time, the Magpies’ edge was reduced to just eight in the final term as the Cats mounted their challenge.

But in front of a vocal crowd of 59,684, Collingwood weren’t to be denied.

The Magpies were exuberant early and showed their steel to cling on with Brodie Grundy and Darcy Moore goals arresting the Cats’ late momentum.

Nathan Buckley’s side did the damage in the opening half-hour.

Jesse White and Alex Fasolo nabbed a pair of goals each, alongside majors to tireless runners Scott Pendlebury, Adam Treloar and Jack Crisp.

All three midfielders were excellent on a day when the Magpie engine, led by Steele Sidebottom in his 150th game, had no passengers.

Pendlebury finished with three goals, his biggest tally in his 223 games to date.

Buckley said it was tough to decide whether their fast start or holding on was most pleasing.

“We were very happy with the way we began … and when the game is on the line, you need to be able to execute,” he said.

“The last quarter probably edges that given Geelong had arrested some of the control of the game and had field dominance.

“We needed to stay aggressive and keep attacking which was a good sign.”

His conclusion though, was absolute.

“We just had a quality win against a quality opposition,” he said.

The four-goal result showed how quickly footy fortunes change.

Just a week ago, coach Buckley headed to Brisbane under extreme pressure with only an Anzac Day win in the past month.

On the same weekend, the Cats were installed as flag favourites after purring to a sixth-straight win.

But on Saturday afternoon, the Magpies snapped the form-lines in stunning style, becoming the first team to beat the Cats this season in Victoria.

Beaten coach Chris Scott said he was annoyed with his side’s delayed start.

“We were beaten around the ball … seven goals to nil at quarter time makes it hard,” he said.

“We won the next three quarters. We were confident we could get the job done. We’re really, really disappointed we didn’t.”

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