If Collingwood fans were starting to worry about their club’s top-two aspirations they would have liked what they saw in Perth on Friday night.
After two poor losses, Magpies ground out a thrilling one-point win in the hostile surroundings of Optus Stadium, coming back from 18-points down ten minutes into the third quarter.
From there the Pies defenders kept West Coast scoreless for the next 43 minutes. Last quarter goals to Brody Mihocek and Jordan De Goey got the Magpies back to striking distance before a series of behinds put them in front.
West Coast forward Jack Darling had the chance to put his side ahead with two minutes to go, but his 50m set shot from the boundary line didn’t register a score.
Collingwood’s 11.12 (78) to 12.5 (77) win saw it jump the Eagles into second spot on percentage, with both sides boasting 11-5 records.
Magpie forward Jamie Elliott said the game may have been tough and ugly but that was “exactly how we wanted it”.
“In the past, historically, they grinded us out, especially in the last quarter,” he told Channel Seven after the game.
For us to grind them out and outrun them in the last quarter – I think they might have scored a point –that’s promising.
“It built up from the week we had a good preparation and capped it off.
For Collingwood second-gamer Isaac Quaynor the win was his first in the black and white.
“It was an unreal win and pretty good one to be in my first win as well as a Collingwood player,” he said. “It was hostile, the crowd. It was a good experience in that sense. I thought the boys grinded it out for four quarters.”
The Magpies lost defender Darcy Moore to a hamstring injury in the opening term, while West Coast’s Jamie Cripps damaged his groin while unleashing a snap.
Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury (finger) and James Aish (shoulder) also finished the game with injury concerns.
The Magpies, who had entered the match off two straight losses, would have slipped two games adrift of second spot if they had lost to the Eagles.
Collingwood won the inside 50 metre count 20-5 in a final-quarter onslaught.
Mihocek booted four goals and took 10 marks in a stand out performance, with five of his marks contested.
Mason Cox kicked three goals, and could have had more if not for some simple dropped marks.
Adam Treloar tallied 39 disposals and seven clearances.
The ruck battle between Nic Naitanui and Brodie Grundy made for intriguing viewing. Both players had their moments, with Naitanui dominant early, and Grundy influential late.
Naitanui finished with 14 disposals, 28 hitouts and 11 clearances, while Grundy had 22 possessions, 31 hitouts and six clearances.
Eagles goalsneak Jarrod Cameron booted four first-half goals, but he was kept quiet in the second half by debutant John Noble.
The opening term featured six lead changes as both sides put an emphasis on attack.
Cameron booted three goals for the term, while Jack Darling nailed two courtesy of strong marks.
But the Magpies had plenty of firepower of their own, with Cox and Mihocek booting two goals apiece.