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Pendlebury lifts Collingwood to victory

Scott Pendlebury has played one of the games of his eight-year career to help his Collingwood side to a hard-fought 27 point victory over a determined Adelaide outfit at the MCG on Friday night.

‘Pendles’, as his nickname goes, was sublime as he joined teammate Dane Swan to become only the second player on the Magpies’ playing list to accumulate 40 or more possessions in a match. His 42 disposals included 16 contested touches, 8 clearances and, fittingly, two late goals to ensure the four points were headed to the black-and-white-army.

Collingwood did it the hard way, however, having been forced to overturn a 25-point deficit going in to quarter time. Following their clash with Carlton seven days earlier, it is the second straight week the Pies have lapsed to gift their opponents a sizeable opening term lead.

It was also the second straight week that defender-cum-goal-sneak Ben Reid pushed forward to boot several majors to help sway the game in Collingwood’s favour.

Reid’s ability to kick goals when it matters will be hard for Magpies coach Nathan Buckley to ignore, especially as key forward Travis Cloke (2 goals, 5 behinds) appears to have attracted the goal-kicking yips again.

Following Adelaide’s breakaway opening quarter, which was defined by Collingwood’s sloppy and inefficient disposal, the second and third terms proved decisive as the Pies finally managed to string passes together to slam on 11 goals to four to completely turn the tide of the match.

Despite booting the opening two goals of the final quarter, the Crows were eventually over-run courtesy of majors to Swan, Cloke and two on the run from the ever-reliable Pendlebury.

The Crows had to contend most of the match below full-strength, with star midfielder Patrick Dangerfield appearing to injure his shoulder in a clash with Collingwood’s Sam Dwyer during the first term. After making a hasty exit from the field clutching his right arm, the 2012 All-Australian returned with heavy strapping, and was clearly not 100 per cent despite playing out the remainder of the game.

Two shining lights during what proved to be a miserable night for Adelaide were youngsters Thomas Lynch and Jared Lyons, with both bobbing up to boot four goals apiece to keep the Crows in the contest.

The loss, nevertheless, condemns Brenton Sanderson’s side to 12th position on the ladder and at least two games outside the top 8.

Conversely, the Pies suddenly look up and about.

The 2012 Preliminary Finalists have won five of their last six encounters, with clashes against Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney next on the agenda.

Sitting in sixth position, and with Dayne Beams and Clinton Young recent additions to the senior squad, it may be time for the rest of the competition to, again, sit up and take notice of the boys in black and white.

Rusty Woodger (@rustywoodger)


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