A valiant Coburg team has suffered defeat at the hands of Collingwood by 25 points in a tough encounter this afternoon on Vicki Cleary Day.
The Lions fought hard all day but the Magpies were able to win some key moments and force a few crucial turnovers.
With Collingwood setting up well behind the ball, Coburg was restricted to moving the ball along the boundary for the first quarter.
Speaking post-game, midfield coach Andrew Sturgess said changes were made in moving the ball inside 50 to counter this.
“I thought our ability to feed the ball back to a guy who can make a good decision worked well for us after quarter time.”
The defence was under fire for most of the first quarter, but kept the team in it allowing just two goals from 17 inside 50s.
Sean Gregory and Harry Nolan were key players in this, having seven spoils each and denying the Magpies forwards all day long.
The second quarter started much better for Coburg, with captain Tom Goodwin and James Belo back from injury nailing set shots early to reduce the margin to a point.
Collingwood were able to get the game back on their terms, but a combination of inaccurate goal-kicking and good defence from Coburg ensured the half time margin was four goals when it could’ve been more.
In the second half, Coburg was able to take control of the game, locking the ball in their forward half for long periods.
Daman Aujla was energetic up forward, and kicked the first two goals of the third quarter to get the Lions back into striking distance.
Mark Orr took a strong mark minutes later in the goal square and converted to bring the margin back to a goal as the crowd reached full voice.
Collingwood were then able to answer against the run of play and then kick another late in the third term, which really hurt Coburg.
Coburg never stopped in the last quarter but the toughness of the contest started to take its toll, with Collingwood’s superior experience and fitness level enough to carry them over the line.
Marcus Lentini was best for the Lions, picking up 32 disposals, 21 contested possessions and 10 clearances.
“For a kid only in his seventh game he’s got a lot of upside,” said Sturgess.
“The scary thing for us is he’s still got so much to work on but his strengths are really evident.”
Tom Goodwin was another of the best, with the captain rarely beaten in the ruck all day, finishing with a mammoth 55 hitouts.
“Tom had his best game of the year, he gave us first use and dominated the hit outs and his follow up work was good.”
Sturgess thought the performance as a whole was one of the biggest positives to take out of today’s game.
“We focused on being hard to play against…you’d have to ask Collingwood, but from a coaching point of view I thought we achieved that.”
Next week Coburg will travel to Punt Road Oval to take on Richmond, in the double-header before the AFL game.
Coburg 0.1 2.3 5.4 7.5 (47)
Collingwood 2.3 5.9 7.11 10.12 (72)
Goals: Aujla 2, Goodwin, Belo, Orr, Murphy, Cannolo.
Best: Lentini, Goodwin, Mellington, Aujla, Murphy, Lever.
Photo thanks to Jordan Zmood.