Tom Hawkins’ four second-half goals proved the difference as Geelong beat Collingwood by 11 points in a pulsating AFL clash on Saturday night.
Hawkins’ last goal with just over a minute stopped a late Collingwood challenge and ensured the 12.15 (87) to 11.10 (76) win.
The match was played with finals intensity and boiled down to a tale of two key forwards – while Hawkins recovered from a quiet first half, Collingwood’s Travis Cloke did not kick anything.
Cloke can consider himself unlucky, with the umpires not paying him a couple of possible free kicks.
Instead, small forward Jamie Elliott starred for the Magpies with five goals and bringing down a contender for mark of the year.
It is the first time Geelong have beaten Collingwood since winning the 2011 premiership decider.
Geelong looked in control late in the last term with a 17-point lead, but Elliott kicked two goals to bring the ‘Pies to within five points.
Then Hawkins marked and goaled to seal the win.
Geelong captain Joel Selwood was best afield, racking up 30 possessions and eight clearances.
Collingwood’s Brent Macaffer was relentless in his match-up with Geelong star Steve Johnson.
In a tight, scrappy opening, Geelong kicked the only three goals of the first term and led by 19 points.
Elliott sparked the Magpies five minutes into the second term, taking a brilliant mark and kicking their first goal.
Elliott and Jesse White kicked two goals apiece in the second quarter as Collingwood worked their way back into the game.
The Cats pulled clear by 14 points, but Alan Toovey and Elliott kicked the last two goals of the half to tie the scores.
Every time Collingwood challenged, Geelong were able to answer.
Andrew Mackie kicked a great goal on the run early in the third term to put the Cats ahead again.
With the Geelong defence continuing to blanket Cloke, Collingwood struggled to find any system in attack.
Steele Sidebottom snapped a superb goal late in the third term to reduce the margin to nine points at the last change, but Geelong always had the answers.
Cats veteran Corey Enright was a late withdrawal with his ankle injury.