Collingwood has improved its finals hopes with a thrilling upset of arch rivals Carlton, who lost star defender Jacob Weitering to a shoulder injury.
Meanwhile, the Power defeated Essendon by 16 points at Adelaide Oval, and St Kilda enjoyed a convincing 53-point win over North Melbourne at Docklands.
Weitering was substituted out of Sunday’s clash at a heaving MCG midway through the first quarter, leaving a huge hole in the Blues’ back-line.
The Magpies took advantage, outlasting their old foes in a heart-stopping 11.13 (79) to 11.9 (75) victory.
The result was not settled until the final few seconds, when Jack Silvagni’s desperate snap shot out of congestion drifted agonisingly wide for the Blues.
A crowd of 80,627 witnessed the absorbing contest, the second-highest attendance at an AFL match since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was the Magpies’ second win over a top-four contender in as many rounds after last week’s victory against Fremantle, improving their win-loss record to 6-5 and putting them on the brink of the top eight.
Young forward Oliver Henry reclaimed his spot in Collingwood’s starting 22 and kicked three goals in an important contribution, which included two majors in the final term to help keep the Blues at bay.
Steele Sidebottom and Patrick Lipinski kicked two goals each as Jack Crisp (27 disposals), Jordan De Goey (24 disposals, one goal) and Taylor Adams (21 disposals) got to work in the midfield.
They were involved in a tough battle with a Carlton on-ball division led by Adam Cerra (30 disposals), George Hewett (31) and Sam Walsh (35).
Key forward Charlie Curnow snared four goals for the Blues, including the last two of the match to give his side a late shot at claiming victory.
A fiery opening ignited when Adams laid a ferocious tackle that carried Patrick Cripps over the boundary line, sparking a melee just three minutes into the contest.
Wayward kicking at goal kept the Magpies’ second-quarter lead to just 18 points and it vanished in quick time as Cripps kick-started a comeback.
The Blues kicked the last four goals of the first half to lead by six points at the main break.
But they could not find the major opening in the third term as the Magpies’ three-goals-to-none gave them an 11-point buffer at the final change.
Jesse Motlop broke the drought when a score review went his way, dragging Carlton back within a kick.
Mason Cox held his nerve with a set-shot goal from 15 metres out and Tyler Brown’s snap gave the Magpies further breathing space.
But the Blues came again, with Curnow’s third and fourth goals putting them within reach of victory, before Silvagni missed a major score with the final chance of the match.
Power get home against Bombers
Saints add to Kangaroos’ woes
St Kilda gave North Melbourne no respite, dominating the struggling Kangaroos.
Saints coach Brett Ratten saw this as a danger match, but his side led throughout for a regulation 16.7 (103) to 7.8 (50) win.
Midfielders Jack Sinclair and Seb Ross starred for the Saints, while Brad Hill had a match-high 33 possessions and Max King kicked three goals.
Small forward Jade Gresham, who kicked two goals, and defender Callum Wilkie also impressed.
The much-improved Saints go into their mid-season break with an 8-3 win-loss record.
Kangaroos captain Jack Ziebell kicked a goal in his 250th match, but after a competitive start his side were no match for the Saints.
It follows another week of crisis at Arden Street, with three of their recruiting staff resigning and Kangaroos great Wayne Carey criticising club.
After Ziebell’s goal in the third quarter, the Saints capitalised on elementary errors from the Kangaroos defence and their four-goal run ended any hopes of an upset result.
Mitch Owens, recalled for the match, kicked his first two goals in the space of a minute.
Saints youngster Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, the nephew of AFL great Gavin Wanganeen, marked Sir Douglas Nicholls Round with a bullet pass that found King amid a nest of Kangaroos defenders.
King converted for his second goal.
The Kangaroos’ Jy Simpkin had 29 disposals and kicked his first goal of the season.
Posted 6h ago6 hours agoSun 29 May 2022 at 3:00am, updated 3m ago3 minutes agoSun 29 May 2022 at 9:18am