Collingwood Magpies beat Melbourne Demons in AFL qualifying final at the MCG

Collingwood has survived a late Melbourne charge to win a tense qualifying final by seven points in front of 92,636 fans at the MCG.

Bobby Hill kicked three goals as Melbourne were left to rue multiple missed opportunities.

Collingwood held on to win 9.6.60 to 7.11.53, despite having a 25-point lead at three-quarter-time.

Heavy rain before the game left made conditions difficult early, but the ground dried out as the game went on, allowing more open play.

The game changed after a frantic first five minutes — where Hill gave the Magpies a hot start with two goals — when Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard collided with Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw, knocking him out.

Bobby Hill was the surprise star for the Magpies, kicking three vital goals against Melbourne.(AFL Photos via Getty Images: Michael Willson)

He was taken off and Maynard was put on report.

Collingwood dominated the play but missed several chances from set shots in the opening quarter.

But when Jack Crisp nailed a kick from 50 and then Darcy Cameron converted from close range after a contested mark late in the first term, the Pies led by four goals to one, 26-6 at the first break.

Brody Mihocek kicked the Magpies’ fifth in the second term, putting the lead out to 27 points.

But the Demons finally got another on the board halfway through the quarter, with Kysaiah Pickett kicking a goal after taking a juggled mark.

The Pies still led by 17 points at the long break.


The Demons had a chance within 40 seconds of the restart, but Joel Smith missed a long kick from 50.

Melbourne had more of the momentum, but Collingwood managed to answer all challenges. A four goal to two third quarter left the Magpies 25 points clear at the end of the term.

Brody Mihocek and Clayton Oliver came together during a heated qualifying final.(AFL Photos via Getty Images: Michael Willson)

The Demons needed to hit hard and early, and they did exactly that with goals to Joel Smith and Tom McDonald in the first five minutes of the final term.

The intensity of the game lifted again, and when the Magpies made their sub, bringing on Jack Ginnivan, there was a huge roar from the crowd.

Repeat inside 50s from Melbourne were tiring out the Collingwood defence, but Bayley Fritsch shanked a kick for goal that would have brought them within seven points.

Fritsch made up for it with less than three minutes to go, as he dribbled a shot home to give the Demons hope.

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