Dane Swan’s vintage performance has led Collingwood to a drought-breaking AFL win over fierce rivals Carlton at the MCG.
The 2011 Brownlow Medallist had 41 disposals and kicked three goals on Saturday, including two in the frenetic last quarter, as the Magpies won 16.9 (105) to 13.9 (87).
Collingwood broke a six-game losing streak and it was also a successful comeback for star utility Ben Reid.
He kicked four goals in his first game this season after overcoming a series of soft-tissue injuries.
With the Magpies only leading by 12 points late in the last quarter, Swan fought furiously for the ball at a stoppage.
His efforts set up Jarryd Blair for the game-breaking goal and Swan kicked his third a couple of minutes later to ensure the win.
A dour, scrappy game lit up in the final quarter, with seven goals to the Magpies and six to the Blues.
Carlton gave Collingwood a massive scare with the first two goals of the last term and trailed by only three points.
But despite Patrick Cripps’ stellar work in the midfield, Collingwood steadied and the Blues made too many ball-handling errors.
Alex Fasolo also kicked four goals for the Magpies, as did Carlton’s Andrejs Everitt.
Reflecting the two teams’ poor form, only 48,133 fans attended the match.
After Carlton capitalised on a turnover and hit the lead midway through the second quarter, Collingwood appeared to take control.
They kicked four of the next five goals to lead by 16 points at halftime.
Two more goals at the start of the third term put them 29 ahead and the ‘Pies were set for a blowout win.
Marc Murphy kicked a goal to stop the surge and Fasolo’s shot at goal became a Carlton free-kick out of defence because of an incident off the ball.
Everitt booted a goal late in the quarter to bring back the margin to 15 points.
He kicked his fourth to start the last term and Levi Casboult put through his second to heap the pressure on Collingwood.
The Magpies kicked the next two, but the game stayed in the balance and Carlton only trailed by seven points at 22 minutes in the last term.
Collingwood kicked the next three goals to ensure the win.