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Spirited Lions unable to overcome Magpies at the 'G

Nathan Schmook, AFL.com.au  May 28, 2017 4:04 PM

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Dayne Beams of the Lions kicks the ball for a goal during the round 10 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and Brisbane Lions at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 28, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images/AFL Media)

The inaccuracy that has plagued Collingwood this season returned on Sunday afternoon, but a spirited Brisbane Lions team was unable to take advantage as the Magpies won a scrappy clash by 45 points at the MCG.

For the first six rounds of the season the Magpies kicked more behinds than goals, and they relapsed in a calamitous third quarter that gave the Lions a sniff of victory.

Just 10 points separated the teams deep in the third quarter, but the Magpies were too strong and experienced, settling in the final term to kick seven of the last 10 goals and win 18.21 (129) to 13.6 (84).

As poor as the Magpies' goalkicking was, their midfield was dominant and Nathan Buckley can thank Scott Pendlebury and co. for delivering back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

The important win keeps Collingwood in touch with the mid-table logjam, taking their record to 4-6 in an up-and-down campaign that seems to only ever be one big loss away from crisis.

Pendlebury was outstanding for the Magpies, working in tight spaces and using the ball with typical care to finish with 31 possessions, seven clearances and nine inside 50s.      

Jamie Elliott was dangerous all day and finished with 14 possessions and eight marks, but he was also a major culprit in front of goal, kicking 4.4, while Alex Fasolo booted 2.4. 

As if to ram home the Magpies' failings in front of goal, the Lions took their chances in a third-quarter burst, with Rhys Mathieson and the brilliant Dayne Beams converting 50m set shots and Jake Barrett snapping accurately from the boundary. 

It took Collingwood full-back Lynden Dunn to sneak forward and snap his first goal for the club to end a four-goal run for the Lions, whose 4.3 for the term came from just 12 inside 50s.  

Beams was a star against his former club, finishing with 28 possessions six clearances and three goals, appearing hurt at times but pushing on to be his team's standout player. 

He was well supported by Dayne Zorko (28, 10 clearances and two goals), while Marco Paparone was very effective in a defensive forward role on Magpies' defender Jeremy Howe. 

Hyundai Help for Kids Lions Academy product Eric Hipwood showed what the Lions are in for with an impressive display including a goal off his left boot under pressure.

Brisbane Lions Coach Chris Fagan was impressed with the young forwards development.

"The opposition key defenders target (Hipwood) and he will only get bigger and be harder to play on. He's a real optimist," said Fagan.

Fagan focused on the positives, despite the club losing its ninth consecutive match, taking its record to 1-9 and anchoring them to the bottom of the ladder.   

"The third quarter was really exciting, just to see our guys fight back and for a while there put themselves in with a chance to win that game," Fagan said. 

"But Collingwood's experience and poise and our mistakes in the last quarter contributed to a fade-away." 

Nathan Buckley said his team had played its style of football for the majority of the match after being caught off-guard and conceding the opening two goals to the Lions.  

"I didn't think we brought the heat that we wanted to see early in the game and it made it a pretty open, free-flowing, open-scoring contest, which is not necessarily the way that we want to play our footy," the coach said. 

"But I thought we responded pretty well in the second quarter and for the most part after that, played the way that we wanted to play."

MEDICAL ROOM

Collingwood: Darcy Moore hurt his right shin in a ruck contest and left the ground, applying ice before three-quarter time. He returned in the final quarter, however, wearing a shin guard and the Magpies had no concerns about his fitness.  

Brisbane Lions: The Lions appeared to escape unscathed. 

NEXT UP

Collingwood travels to Domain Stadium to take on a Fremantle team licking its wounds after a 100-point loss to Adelaide. The Brisbane Lions have a bye before also taking on the Dockers at the Gabba in round 12.  

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