Daily Mercury - - SPORT - – Michael Ramsey

COME­BACK king Tyson Gold­sack couldn’t have been hap­pier as he cel­e­brated Colling­wood’s AFL semi-fi­nal tri­umph with his daugh­ter at the MCG.

The 31-year-old’s stun­ning re­turn to foot­ball af­ter tear­ing the ACL in his left knee in March is the feel-good story of the fi­nals.

And Gold­sack is liv­ing up to his end of the bar­gain, back­ing up his strong game against West Coast with a com­pre­hen­sive vic­tory over GWS spear­head Jeremy Cameron as the Mag­pies ran out 10-point winners on Satur­day night.

The veteran back­man cast a proud fig­ure af­ter the game as he cra­dled his 13-month-old daugh­ter Har­riet in the Mag­pies’ rooms.

“She came to Perth last week but she didn’t come to the game. It was too loud and it was just too much,” Gold­sack said. “It’s good to see her. It’s the first game she’s been to here. She doesn’t know what’s go­ing on but I do and it’s a good feel­ing.”

The Mag­pies took a cal­cu­lated risk in bring­ing back all three of Gold­sack, Adam Treloar and Jeremy Howe from in­jury for their qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal against West Coast.

While it wasn’t enough to beat the Ea­gles, the se­lec­tion gam­bit has clearly paid off.

The trio were among the Mag­pies’ best per­form­ers against GWS, al­lay­ing fears of a sec­ond-week slump.

One of three play­ers re­main­ing from Colling­wood’s 2010 pre­mier­ship side, Gold­sack could be tasked with play­ing on Cole­man Medal­list Jack Riewoldt when the Mag­pies face Rich­mond in Fri­day night’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

The block­buster clash will be the first fi­nal be­tween the tra­di­tional ri­vals and pow­er­house Vic­to­rian clubs since the 1980 pre­mier­ship de­cider. The Tigers won their most re­cent meet­ing in round 19 by 28 points with Howe (con­cus­sion) and Matthew Scharen­berg (knee) un­able to play out the match.

“I thought we ac­tu­ally matched up pretty good against them,” said Gold­sack, who watched the game from the coaches’ box. “It was a pretty good game un­til we lost a cou­ple early which didn’t help our ro­ta­tions, and then they ran over the top of us. Hope­fully it’s the other way around this week and we can fin­ish off nice and strong.”

Photo: Quinn Rooney

OH BABY! Tyson Gold­sack cel­e­brates the Mag­pies’ win at the MCG.

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