Jamie Elliott celebrates a goal during the round 19 clash between Port Adelaide and Collingwood on July 22, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

A NEVER-say-die Collingwood has pulled off yet another of its famous final-quarter heists, beating Port Adelaide by two points in a game-of-the-year contender.

In typical fashion, the Magpies trailed by 17 points at three-quarter-time but stormed home with six goals in the last stanza to pinch another scarcely believable comeback win and firm up their premiership favouritism.

A brilliant boundary line set shot from Collingwood forward Jamie Elliott with three minutes remaining ultimately won his side the contest at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night, settling a frenetic match that featured 11 lead changes and finals-like intensity throughout.

POWER v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats

As if another brilliant comeback was ever in doubt, Steele Sidebottom and Josh Daicos goaled in the final term’s first two minutes as the Magpies loomed ominously, although Port fired back through Jeremy Finlayson and Sam Powell-Pepper as the competition heavyweights traded haymakers in an absolute epic.


Sidebottom also came up with a heroic defensive play, finding a late spoil on Port’s Kane Farrell on what would have given him a makeable set shot with a minute to play.

It’s a continuation of Collingwood's remarkable record of late fightbacks, now having won 12 of their last 16 games when trailing at three-quarter-time.


They’re now two games clear on top of the ladder and clearly the team to beat heading towards finals, particularly having toppled their nearest foe on their own patch in such impressive fashion.

Brayden Maynard asked the Power to "bring their A-game" during the week and they certainly did, playing an elite pressure game to out-tackle Collingwood by 16 and win inside 50s by 13, only to fall agonisingly short.

Port took control of general play in a dominant third term but butchered some straightforward chances to leave the Magpies still within touching distance, a vital late goal for Jason Horne-Francis after a run-down tackle on Maynard breaking them 15 points clear.


The Power sent Willem Drew to Collingwood superstar Nick Daicos and the running machine was kept to one of his least influential games of the season, making a number of uncharacteristic errors in his 25 disposals outing.

But the Magpies’ old guard stepped up in a big way Scott Pendlebury (28 disposals) and Sidebottom (26, one goal) looking as smooth as ever in wet conditions.

Port’s star duo of Connor Rozee (28 disposals, two goals) and Zak Butters (31) were outstanding, while Powell-Pepper’s bruising display was exactly what the conditions called for.


Powell-Pepper a true bull
After being drafted as a first round selection in 2016 Sam Powell-Pepper had developed into a handy midfielder, but didn't have a distinctive strength to his game. That all changed last year when he was moved forward and he took to the role like a duck to water. Or like a wrecking ball to whatever gets in its way. Powell-Pepper's 'don't argue' fend off has arguably surpassed Dustin Martin's and it was on display in Saturday night's opening goal. The Power bull was tackled near the boundary by Darcy Moore, but he pushed the 203cm, 100kg Collingwood captain aside like a saloon door, before bending a banana through from 48m.


Taylor's swift gift
Saturday's match was Taylor Adams' 200th and the hard-working midfielder continued his recent good form finishing as one of the best on ground, but his highlight for the night was a second-quarter goal that really had no right to be his. With the Pies surging the ball was sent forward to the unmanned Jamie Elliott at the top of an otherwise vacant goalsquare. The small forward turned and was just about to drop the ball on his boot for a gimme when he changed his mind, spun back around and handpassed to Adams as he charged into frame. The milestone man wasn't about to turn down the gift, banging the ball high into the stands.


Magpies' magic million
There's a few club's that have, on occasion, worn the title 'sleeping giant', but there's never been much slumbering from the Black and White army. On Saturday the club passed the one million mark for attendees at Magpies matches this season - the 24th time the club has hit seven figures during a home and away campaign. Adelaide Oval is a cauldron for visiting teams at the best of times, but the deafening noise on Saturday night was just as loud after a Collingwood goal as when Port scored. There's plenty of jokes at the expense of Pies supporters, but you can't question the undying, one-eyed passion for their team.


PORT ADELAIDE   4.0    6.4    9.9    12.11 (83)
4.3    5.3    7.4    13.7 (85)

Port Adelaide: Rozee 2, Dixon 2, Powell-Pepper 2, Rioli, Marshall, Horne-Francis, Finlayson, Evans, Duursma
Collingwood: Elliott 3, McStay 2, Mihocek 2, Sidebottom, McCreery, Hill, N.Daicos, J.Daicos, Adams

Port Adelaide: Rozee, Powell-Pepper, Butters, Houston, Horne-Francis
Collingwood: Adams, Sidebottom, J.Daicos, Moore, Pendlebury, Elliott

Port Adelaide: Nil
Collingwood: Nil

Port Adelaide: Dylan Williams (replaced Scott Lycett in the fourth quarter)
Collingwood: Oleg Markov (replaced Tom Mitchell in the third quarter)

Crowd: 47,965 at Adelaide Oval