Travis Cloke had a day to remember, booting seven goals without a miss as Collingwood extended their unbeaten streak against Melbourne to 11 matches with a 25-point victory in a Queens’s Birthday AFL classic at the MCG.
The Demons challenged repeatedly throughout the second and third quarters on Monday but could not find a way past Collingwood in the final term as the Magpies won 17.8 (110) to 13.7 (85).
Cloke’s personal haul of seven goals equalled his career-best tally set two years ago against Richmond.
He was a clear winner of the inaugural Neale Daniher Trophy for the player judged best afield in the annual marquee clash between the two clubs.
Former Demons coach Daniher, who is fighting a much-publicised battle against motor neurone disease, was on hand to present the trophy.
The victory saw the Magpies move back into the top four with a 7-3 win-loss record, while the Demons slipped to 3-7.
Cloke put on a masterclass in an opening quarter dominated by Collingwood.
Matched against Melbourne’s best defender Tom McDonald, Cloke had accumulated six marks – four of them contested – six kicks, two tackles and four goals without a miss by quarter-time.
The Magpies led by 30 points in time-on in the opening term, only for the Demons to turn the match on its head, with six straight goals, including two in a row to speedster Jeff Garlett.
The match ebbed and flowed from then on.
One of the biggest moments came midway through the third term when the much-maligned Jack Watts – who made his oft-recalled debut in the corresponding fixture six years ago – goaled after winning a free kick for holding the ball against Travis Varcoe.
But once again,Collingwood steadied with the last two goals of the term – including Cloke’s sixth of the day seconds before the three-quarter time siren.
After three high-scoring and free-flowing quarters, the last was more of a slog, with Collingwood booting the only two goals through Jamie Elliott and Cloke.