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Darcy Cameron off to AFL grand final after Collingwood’s thrilling one-point win over Greater Western Sydney

Calvin SimsAlbany Advertiser
Giants’ Kieren Briggs and Magpies’ Darcy Cameron compete in the ruck during the preliminary final.
Camera IconGiants’ Kieren Briggs and Magpies’ Darcy Cameron compete in the ruck during the preliminary final. Credit: Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Albany-raised ruckman Darcy Cameron is bound for the AFL grand final after Collingwood’s epic one-point win against Greater Western Sydney in a heart-stopping preliminary final at the MCG on Friday night.

The North Albany big man recorded 13 disposals, eight marks and 18-hit outs in the 8.10 (58) to 8.9 (57) victory, the result sending the Magpies into a first grand final since 2018.

The Giants held a narrow three-point lead at half-time before the Magpies wrestled back the advantage in the third term.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Darcy Cameron of the Magpies is tackled by Sam Taylor and Kieren Briggs of the Giants during the 2023 AFL First Preliminary Final match between the Collingwood Magpies and the GWS GIANTS at Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 22, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Camera IconCollingwood’s Darcy Cameron is tackled by Giants’ Sam Taylor and Kieren Briggs. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images

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An early Daniel Lloyd goal in the opening stages of the fourth quarter levelled scores for GWS before the Magpies answered back, a strong contested mark and major from Cameron’s ruck partner Mason Cox putting them in front.

The tide changed once again as a Jesse Hogan slotted his first goal of the contest but the Magpies held on in a nail-biting ending.

The Magpies took a host of intercept marks in the final stages, ultimately winning the clearance count 44-26, and Cameron was a vital part of countless stoppages in the dying moments.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Darcy Cameron of the Magpies leaps for the ball during the AFL First Preliminary Final match between Collingwood Magpies and Greater Western Sydney Giants at Melbourne Cricket Ground, on September 22, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)
Camera IconCollingwood’s Darcy Cameron at full stretch. Credit: Robert Cianflone/via Getty Images

Cameron also accumulated two clearances, two tackles and 129m gained in a match that was held in front of more than 97,000 spectators.

The 28-year-old will pull on the boots against Brisbane this weekend in his first appearance in an AFL grand final.

Cameron’s immediate family and partner Adriana Guevara were on hand to witness the famous preliminary final victory.

Vanessa, Luke, Darcy and Gerard Cameron with Adriana Guevara in the rooms after the preliminary final win.
Camera IconVanessa, Luke, Darcy and Gerard Cameron with Adriana Guevara in the rooms after the preliminary final win. Credit: Supplied

On Saturday fellow North Albany junior Mitch McGovern was part of Carlton’s heartbreaking 16-point loss to Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night.

McGovern was outstanding in a losing side, amassing 24 touches to go with two tackles, five marks and 661m gained.

He copped a huge hit late in the game, forcing him to hobble off the ground but the 28-year-old was one of the Blues best contributors.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 23: Mitch McGovern of the Blues is tackled by Lincoln McCarthy of the Lions during the 2023 AFL Second Preliminary Final match between the Brisbane Lions and the Carlton Blues at The Gabba on September 23, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Russell Freeman/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Camera IconCarlton’s Mitch McGovern tries to break free in the preliminary final. Credit: Russell Freeman/AFL Photos via Getty Images

After kicking the opening five goals of the contest, the Blues were outscored 11 goals to four for the remainder of the contest as the Lions advanced to the decider with a 11.13 (79) to 9.9 (63) triumph.

The match served as McGovern’s first appearance in a preliminary final, having missed out on Adelaide’s 2017 preliminary final win against Geelong through injury.

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