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Magpies take out Queen's Birthday arm-wrestle to consolidate place in top four

Highlights: Melbourne v Collingwood The Demons and Pies clash in round 12
Jeremy Howe of the Demons marks the ball over Alex Fasolo of the Magpies during the 2014 AFL Round 12 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Collingwood Magpies at the MCG, Melbourne on June 09, 2014. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media)
Another week, another hanger from Jeremy Howe
COLLINGWOOD has battled its way back into the top four with a 33-point win over Melbourne in an error-ridden and ultra-defensive Queen's Birthday clash at the MCG.
 
Such was the proliferation of men behind the ball and the lack of scoring, the first half resembled soccer, with the Magpies leading three goals to two at the long break.
 
Nathan Buckley's team, which was without Steele Sidebottom (suspended), Nick Maxwell (calf) and late withdrawal Jesse White (finger), then kicked five goals to one in the second half to prevail 8.13 (61) to 3.10 (28).


"It was an honest game of footy," said Buckley, who also acknowledged it was an ugly match. 

"We had to play four quarters of a contested brand against an opponent that were willing to do the same. You take the result and the positives that come with it."
 
It was the Demons' lowest score against Collingwood since 1960, with Paul Roos' team tallying 121.6 disposals for each goal it scored.

"I thought we worked pretty hard," Roos said. "I thought the work rate and effort was there and (it was good) to keep them to a manageable score.

"But when we went forward we too often gave it back to them."

It was the Demons' lowest score against Collingwood since 1960, with Paul Roos' team tallying 121.6 disposals for each goal it scored.
 
In contrast, the Pies' victory improved their 2014 record to 8-3 and ensured they remain unbeaten against Melbourne since round 11, 2007 (the teams drew in 2010).
 
Scott Pendlebury and Clinton Young led the way for the winners in the middle of the ground, while Brent Macaffer did an impressive tagging job on Dom Tyson.
 
Macaffer limited the Demons' playmaker to four disposals in the first half and 16 for the game.
 
Heritier Lumumba and Paul Seedsman, who both pushed back and then carried the ball through the middle of the ground, were other impressive contributors for Collingwood.
 
Midfielder Dayne Beams, who was shadowed by tireless veteran Daniel Cross, was quiet for much of the contest but kicked two important goals.
 
Melbourne's afternoon started in brilliant fashion, with Nathan Jones slotting the opening goal of the game after just 23 seconds.
 
But although they controlled the ball for large parts of the game, kicking backwards and sidewards in keeping with Roos' high-possession gameplan, they found scoring almost impossible after their bright opening.
 
Along with Cross, Nathan Jones was among the Demons' best players, as were Bernie Vince and defender Lynden Dunn, who played at full-back on Travis Cloke and held the big Magpie to two goals.
 
The much-improved Cameron Pedersen was Melbourne's best forward. He took 11 marks and gathered 14 disposals, but was unable to register a major.
 
The Demons, who remain 15th on the ladder with a 3-8 record, face Essendon next Sunday at the MCG.
 
Collingwood's next game is also next Sunday, with the Magpies hosting the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.
 

In his flashy blue boots, Paul Seedsman was easily able to get past Max Gawn. Picture: AFL Media



MELBOURNE            1.3    2.4    3.6    3.10 (28)      
COLLINGWOOD        1.2    3.7   5.10  8.13 (61)                        
 
GOALS
Melbourne: Jones, Howe, Vince
Collingwood: Cloke 2, Beams 2, Pendlebury, Macaffer, Goldsack, Elliott
 
BEST
Melbourne: Cross, N. Jones, Vince, Pedersen, Dunn  
Collingwood: Young, Macaffer, Pendlebury, Lumumba, Seedsman, Swan
 
INJURIES
Melbourne: TBC
Collingwood: Jesse White (finger) replaced in selected side by Brodie Grundy
 
SUBSTITUTES
Melbourne: Jay Kennedy-Harris replaced Mark Jamar in the third quarter
Collingwood: Luke Ball replaced Alex Fasolo in the third quarter
 
Reports: Nil
 
Umpires: Fisher, Kamolins, Findlay
 
Official crowd: 68,124
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs