Collingwood have claimed a record-equalling 16th premiership with a thrilling four-point win over the Brisbane Lions in the AFL grand final.
Bobby Hill kicked a career-best four goals to claim the Norm Smith Medal in the Magpies’ epic 12.18 (90) to 13.8 (86) victory in front of 100,024 fans on Saturday at the MCG.
The result came despite Craig McRae’s side losing key defender Nathan Murphy to concussion before halftime.
It was Collingwood’s first premiership since 2010, following heartbreaking grand final defeats in 2011 and 2018.
Scott Pendlebury (23 disposals, six clearances) and Jack Crisp (25 touches, two goals) shone for the Magpies in the instant classic, while Nick Daicos (29 disposals) and Jordan De Goey (18 touches, two goals) were also influential.
Joe Daniher and Charlie Cameron kicked three goals each for Brisbane and Zac Bailey slotted a pair of stunners in the first first quarter.
Daniher’s final goal gave the Lions a sniff of victory with 1:41 left to play in the last quarter but Collingwood hung on in a tense finish to the four-quarter arm wrestle.
Neither side led by 13 points and there were 10 lead changes throughout the day.
It was an anticlimactic start when eight-time grand final umpire Simon Meredith’s wayward opening bounce had to be called back and thrown up.
But the first half was packed with highlights, from brilliant goals on both sides to Hill’s spectacular high mark on Brandon Starcevich’s shoulders.
None of the majors were better than Bailey’s second, when he smothered Mason Cox’s kick and received a handpass from Daniher before outmanoeuvring Cox and Murphy on the boundary and snapping truly.
Hill booted all four of his goals in a first half that featured six lead changes as Collingwood took a 9.9 to 9.3 advantage to the main break.
Neither side generated any real momentum during a third term which produced just three goals and another two lead changes.
The Magpies had been inaccurate but turned for home with a four-point lead – 10.15 to 11.5.
Cameron shook off Brayden Maynard and Isaac Quaynor to put Brisbane in front but De Goey immediately replied, giving the Magpies the upper hand with less than five minutes to play.
They looked home when Steele Sidebottom goaled from long-range after a 50m penalty against Jarrod Berry, but Daniher’s late snap made for a nervous final 100 seconds.