Jamie Elliott's clutch kick is one of the greatest post-final siren goals to win an AFL/VFL match and Collingwood deserves huge praise for its plucky nine-game winning streak.
Sure, luck has played a role in the Magpies' run, with a relatively clean bill of health, but winning as many close games as they have is an indication of their enormous self-belief and growing confidence within the team.
Craig McRae and his coaching staff are developing a winning culture, with the never-say-die Magpies believing they are never out of the contest.
Midway through the last quarter, they looked gone against the Bombers before finding a way.
How far this will take the Magpies is unknown, with four tough games ahead before the finals, but it has been a remarkable transformation to be in the top four at the end of round 19 after finishing 17th with only six wins in 2021.
It was a devastating result for the Essendon Bombers after coming from 37 points down at the first change to set up a seemingly match-winning lead during the last term.
How the Bombers unravelled defensively towards the end of the game and particularly in the final seconds will be the focus of coach Ben Rutten and his staff this week.
After Harrison Jones' set shot to seal the game hit the post with under a minute to play, Collingwood took the ball from the kick-in clinically without Essendon touching it to the Punt Rd end of the MCG before Elliott marked between two Bombers defenders and converted with ice-cool composure.
While the AFL's clarification of the rules on high contact was overdue, Jack Ginnivan still deserves fair treatment from umpires.
The young Collingwood forward's reputation for ducking in an attempt to draw a free kick cost him early in the match against Essendon.
Bombers defender Mason Redman clearly infringed and should have been penalised for tackling Ginnivan around the neck, but umpires incorrectly allowed play to continue.
If the action warrants a free kick, umpires need to pay it. It should not matter who is involved - Ginnivan, Joel Selwood or anyone else.
Eventually, players will adapt, but the obvious infringements such as the Ginnivan-Redman incident cannot be overlooked.
Selwood, who has been the beneficiary of many head-high penalties over his long career, much to the chagrin of opposition players and fans, was denied a free kick in the dying minutes of Geelong's win against Port Adelaide.
Play on was called, and it appeared to be the correct decision, although the Cats captain's teammate Tom Hawkins was fortunate to win a free kick for high contact and subsequently kicked the goal to seal the game soon after.
As the No. 1 pick in the 2020 AFL Draft, the expectation, scrutiny and pressure on Jamarra Ugle-Hagan has been intense, but the young Western Bulldogs key forward is showing encouraging signs to silence the doubters.
The Bulldogs have been waiting for Ugle-Hagan, who began his football journey with South Warrnambool, to produce on the big stage and the left-footer chose a pulsating clash with last year's premier Melbourne to deliver a breakout performance.
The key forward, 20, finished with a career-high five goals, his third major in a memorable final quarter sealing the game in the dying seconds - a stunning snap shot from outside 50m and close to the boundary line.
Ugle-Hagan's match-winning display stole the show at Marvel Stadium as the Bulldogs leapfrogged Richmond to return to the top eight.
He had limited opportunities in his first season with the Dogs last year as the VFL season was cut short by the pandemic.
But Ugle-Hagan's output has improved recently, assisted by the return of key forward Josh Bruce to spread the workload in attack, and this performance should give him enormous confidence for the remainder of the season and beyond.
Jack Gunston's trusty right boot has deserted him for most of this season, but he was back to his best in front of the sticks against North Melbourne.
Although he missed a few in the tricky wind prevailing at Blundstone Arena, Gunston booted five goals in Hawthorn's big win and was unlucky not to equal his personal-best haul of six in a performance that would have delighted his late father Ray.
Ray, a former AFL executive who died suddenly earlier this month, was his son's biggest supporter, watching him all over the country during an illustrious career that has included three premierships.
A grieving Gunston missed Hawthorn's past two games and made a welcome return against the Kangaroos as the Hawks secured their third consecutive win.
They are finishing their first season under coach Sam Mitchell with enthusiasm and momentum to take into 2023.
On form, they must be considered a strong chance in their four remaining games against St Kilda (Marvel Stadium), Gold Coast (University of Tasmania Stadium), Richmond (MCG) and Western Bulldogs (University of Tasmania Stadium) and are likely to decide which team will finish in eighth spot.
Regardless of what happens in the next month, their future looks bright, with an impressive group of young players developing well alongside the older heads in the team, such as Gunston.
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