The Brisbane Lions have overcome a 27-point quarter time deficit to shock the West Coast Eagles at the Gabba on Saturday night.
After kicking the first major of the match, the Lions looked to be in dire straits after the reigning premiers began with a bang, but on the back of the brilliant Charlie Cameron, the Lions bounced back to take a seven-point lead into the main break.
Despite the match being a hard-fought contest, the Lions came home with a wet sail, running out 15. 12. (102) to 8. 10. (58) winners.
The Lions’ win over West Coast snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Perth-based juggernaut, with the last win over the Eagles coming back in 2012.
Brisbane’s prized recruit Lachie Neale showed just why the Lions were so eager to trade for him as the ex-Docker picked up 29 disposals to go along with a goal.
Joining Neale among Brisbane’s best were Cameron (three goals) and Hugh McCluggage who finished with 20 possessions and a goal.
To add insult to injury for the reigning premiers, livewire forward Liam Ryan was reported in the final seconds of the contest for striking Lions defender Darcy Gardiner.
The Eagles booted six unanswered goals in the first term after an opener by Lions small forward Cameron.
But Chris Fagan’s team responded wonderfully after the break to kick seven-goals-to-one to turn the game on its head.
Delighted Lions’ fans gave their team a standing ovation at halftime as they held a seven-point lead, with brilliance by Cameron the highlight.
Playing his first AFL match since tearing the lisfranc ligament in his right ankle last June, Cameron got the better of Eagles defender Tom Cole on the edge of the goal square before he batted the ball into the air with his hand and hooked the ball in mid-air over his shoulder for a goal.
The crowd of 20,029 were on their feet again after the Lions held West Coast goalless in the third term and extended their lead to 29 points at the final change.
Jack Darling’s booming goal early in the final quarter ended a run of nine-straight majors for the hosts but he and youngster Oscar Allen (two each) were the only multiple goalkickers for the Eagles.
Dom Sheed was good in a beaten team with a game-high 38 disposals and seven marks.
The Gabba crowd included the recipients of 500 free tickets handed out by the Lions to patrons at 12 Brisbane mosques on Friday in a show of support to the local Muslim community after last week’s terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Brisbane take on North Melbourne next weekend while West Coast are back in Perth to host GWS.
– With AAP