Melbourne just missed the big scalp they were hunting. But Demons coach Dean Bailey was proud of his side’s resilience in at least sharing the points with a heavyweight for the first time this season.The Demons came back from 20 points down early in the match, and fought gamely despite Collingwood’s superior weight of attacking moves and 10 more scoring shots at the MCG yesterday.While the Demons have shown vast improvement this year after consecutive wooden-spoon seasons, their four wins so far have all come against sides which are with them in the bottom six.The closest they had previously come to claiming a major upset was their one-point loss to the Magpies in round two. So given third-placed Collingwood had 20 more entries to their attacking 50-metre zone and kicked the first three goals inside nine minutes, it was a victory of sorts for the Demons, whose only win in the previous six rounds was by a single point against Port Adelaide.”The stats really imply that two points [for a draw] was a good result for us,” Bailey said. ”If you purely look at the stats, you mention inside 50s and the tackle count was way out of sync, we were disappointed in the first quarter [which was 32 tackles to seven], that’s not good enough.”But at the end of it, you look at the three quarters after that and we just seemed to hang in there. They missed a couple of opportunities and we just hung in there and that was the pleasing thing.”To describe the Demons as merely hanging in understates their performance. After Collingwood’s barrage in the first nine minutes, they kicked 11 goals to the Magpies’ six and hit the front twice in the final term.While the Magpies moved the ball into attack much more often, the Demons generally did so more smoothly and directly, reflected by their greater efficiency once they went forward.They had the most effective ball user in general play, in Aaron Davey, whose skill and poise running from defence was critical given the Demons’ frequent need to rebound.Melbourne ruckman Mark Jamar was also the game’s dominant big man, a fine solo effort against Darren Jolly, with whom he was once vying for selection at the Demons, before Jolly left for Sydney in 2004, ahead of joining Collingwood this season.A pack mark and goal to Jamar in the final term levelled the scores, with Matthew Bate scoring the next early in time-on to create the last lead of the match to either side, before Magpies veteran Tarkyn Lockyer again tied the game.The Magpies were also fortunate to have the polish in attack of late inclusion Brad Dick, whose 4.1 provided a stark distinction to the wastefulness of his teammates. It was the goalsneak’s first AFL game of the year, after a shoulder reconstruction, replacing Alan Didak (hip), while Collingwood also lost skipper Nick Maxwell (calf) in the second term.AAP
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