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Pies alive as stunning comeback steals win over Eagles

Highlights: West Coast v Collingwood The Eagles and Magpies clash in round 17

THIS was the performance Nathan Buckley was craving.

Backs to the wall and away from home to the reigning premiers, Collingwood needed to summon something special to overcome West Coast in the final quarter on Friday night.

And this was certainly special.

Having held the Eagles scoreless for nearly 45 minutes in the second half, the Pies overturned a significant deficit to record an upset one-point win at Optus Stadium.

Collingwood's 11.12 (78) to 12.5 (77) win stemmed the bleeding after a steady decline over the last month, with the Pies heeding the calls for improvement from their frustrated coach.

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Brody Mihocek was key to the stunning win, equalling his career-high with four goals from 19 disposals and 10 marks to spark the side's dramatic late fightback.

Adam Treloar, Steele Sidebottom and Scott Pendlebury also ensured the Pies had control out of the middle, helping to overcome a 16-point deficit at three-quarter time.

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Jarrod Cameron (13 disposals, four goals) and Jack Darling (11 disposals, three goals) had fired West Coast into an early lead, but like the Eagles, their impact waned after half-time.

Instead, they did their damage early in what proved to be a game of two halves.
There was the first-half shootout, then the second-half slog.

Both sides had exchanged early goals, with 12 kicked in an entertaining opening term.

Eagles youngster Cameron was among them, slotting three majors with his first three kicks, while under-pressure big man Mason Cox settled some nerves with two of his own.

WATCH The thrilling final two minutes

And that was all by quarter-time, with six lead changes registered by the first break.

There was also some damage done to both teams, adding intrigue to an already exciting match, with West Coast losing impressive forward Jamie Cripps (adductor) and Collingwood losing in-form defender Darcy Moore (hamstring) to injury in the early stages of the clash.

Fortunately, it didn't stop the glut of goals.

Cameron added a fourth from his fourth kick, while Cox and Mihocek also brought their tallies to three each, as the Eagles stretched their lead to 13 points by half-time.

Realising the need to then take the sting out of the game, West Coast did.

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Restricting Collingwood to just one goal in the third term, the hosts boosted their buffer by the final change and began to take control of the contest through slower ball movement.

But with the Pies keeping the deficit manageable, a tense final term ensued.

Collingwood had five successive scoring shots on either side of three-quarter time. The only problem was that all five resulted in minor scores, building the frustration.

But when Mihocek kicked his fourth– the game's first goal in over a quarter of footy – all of a sudden West Coast's lead was slashed to single figures with 10 minutes to play.

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A moment of Jordan De Goey brilliance seconds later helped to level the scores, before Ben Crocker's rushed snap eventually gave Collingwood a shock lead late in the contest.

It was a lead they didn't relinquish at the death, holding firm to turn the tide of its season.

West Coast: Jeremy McGovern came from the field early in the game in some discomfort after a collision with Nic Naitanui, before returning moments later. Jamie Cripps then limped off with an adductor injury later in the opening term, with the in-form forward failing to return having looked in significant pain.

Collingwood: Darcy Moore hobbled from the field midway through the first quarter and failed to return, having again been struck down with a hamstring problem. It continues a horror run for the in-form defender, who has endured a number of soft-tissue setbacks over the last 18 months. Scott Pendlebury had the middle finger on his left hand taped up, while James Aish landed awkwardly on his shoulder late in the third quarter. 

West Coast has an eight-day break before heading to Alice Springs for the first time in its history to play Melbourne next Sunday, while Collingwood will also travel interstate to meet Greater Western Sydney at Giants Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

WEST COAST         6.3    10.4    12.4    12.5 (77)
COLLINGWOOD    6.1     8.3      9.6     11.12 (78) 

West Coast: Cameron 4, Darling 3, Yeo 2, Ryan, Hickey, Allen
Collingwood: Mihocek 4, Cox 3, Phillips 2, De Goey 2 

West Coast: Yeo, Gaff, Cameron, Darling, Sheppard, Redden, Jetta
Collingwood: Mihocek, De Goey, Treloar, Sidebottom, Pendlebury, Crisp, Phillips 

Fans' Best on Ground, in partnership with Google: Jarrod Cameron

West Coast: Cripps (adductor)
Collingwood: Moore (hamstring) 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Margetts, Stevic, Stephens

Official crowd: 56,251 at Optus Stadium