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Hungry Lions dent Carlton's finals hopes

Highlights: Brisbane Lions v Carlton The Lions and Blues clash in round 11




THE BRISBANE Lions have pulled off a remarkable backs-against-the-wall win to severely dent Carlton's finals aspirations at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Trailing by 16 points midway through the final quarter, the home team looked gone, but rallied to kick the final four goals of the game to win 14.14 (98) to 13.13 (91).

Their second win of the season was done without Trent West for much of the game, after the ruckman sustained a serious knee injury in the second quarter and was subbed off.


West will undergo scans on Monday, but coach Justin Leppitsch said it "didn't sound good".

The man who replaced West, Zac O'Brien, had a fairytale debut, putting the Lions in front with six minutes remaining after Jarrad Waite gave away a 50m penalty for knocking over Tom Rockliff off the ball.

Josh Green sealed the victory a minute later with his second goal to spark wild celebrations in front of 24,625 delirious home fans.

After a season plagued by fade-outs in time-on of quarters, Leppitsch said it was great to finally see a reversal.

"A lot of time running's between the ears isn't it?" he said.

"I know it sounds strange, but the ability to push yourself when you're fatigued. I think our red-time scores were the best part of our game tonight, which has been the opposite (this season).

"Try and explain AFL footy sometimes - who knows."

Malthouse refused to blame Waite's brain explosion for the loss, or a contentious dropped mark by Chris Yarran that led to Green's goal.

"Last quarter we led and just didn't have the legs in the end," he said.

"Our discipline was ordinary and they were harder, longer, simple as that."

Yarran was also reported and gave away a 50m penalty late in the match after lashing out at Pearce Hanley.

Jonathan Brown finished with three goals – including a clutch shot in the fourth term – while Tom Rockliff (36 disposals), Jack Redden (28, 10 clearances and a goal), and Dayne Zorko (23 and two goals) gave the Lions plenty of midfield drive.

Dual best and fairest Joel Patfull played arguably his best game of the season.

It's no joke, but the Lions last won against the Blues on April Fool's Day, 2010 - Brendan Fevola's second game during his ill-fated stay at the club.

For Carlton, the loss drops them to 4-6 ahead of Friday night's date with Geelong at Etihad Stadium.

They also lost David Ellard during the second quarter to a left Achilles injury.

On a rollercoaster night, the Lions led by 28 points at quarter-time before the Blues completely dominated the next two-and-a-half terms.

West's injury played a huge part, leaving stop-gap Daniel Merrett to shoulder the load.

West looks set to join fellow specialist Matthew Leuenberger (knee) on the sidelines for an extended period after he crumbled to the ground while getting to a boundary throw-in.

In his absence, Robert Warnock – already having a big influence prior to West's injury – ran riot.

He had 57 hit-outs and fed the ball down the throat of his midfielders to turn the tide after quarter time.

Captain Marc Murphy was gallant in defeat with his game-high 39 disposals, while Sam Docherty had a successful return to the Gabba, finishing with 30 and a goal.

Lions players celebrate the nail-biting finish at the Gabba on Saturday.  Picture: AFL Media







Brisbane Lions     5.5.    7.8    10.10 14.14   (98)
Carlton                   1.1.   7.4.     11.9    13.13  (91)

GOALS
Brisbane Lions: Brown 3, Merrett 2, Zorko 2, Green 2, Paine, Redden, Paparone, Beams, O’Brien
Carlton: Garlett 3, Henderson 3, Ellard, Menzel, Everitt, Murphy, Docherty, Waite, Tuohy

BEST
Brisbane Lions: Redden, Zorko, Rockliff, Patfull, Brown,
Carlton: Murphy, Warnock, Simpson, Docherty, Henderson

INJURIES
Brisbane Lions: West (knee)
Carlton: Ellard (Achilles)

SUBSTITUTES
Brisbane Lions: Zac O'Brien on for Trent West in the second quarter.
Carlton: Jeff Garlett on for David Ellard in the second quarter.

Reports: Chris Yarran (strike on Pearce Hanley)

Umpires: Rosebury, Kamolins and Harris

Crowd: 24,625