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Match report: Lions get points in heated QClash

Highlights: Gold Coast v Brisbane The Suns and Lions clash in round 22
Brandon Starcevich had a night of mixed fortunes - AFL,Brisbane Lions,Gold Coast Suns
Brandon Starcevich had a night of mixed fortunes

BRISBANE has survived a huge scare, edging past Gold Coast to win by four points in a tense QClash at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night.

In a fiery contest marred by some heated first-half moments, the Lions overturned a nine-point deficit in the final quarter to win 10.18 (78) to 11.8 (74).

The victory is Brisbane's fifth of the season and reverses the five-point loss suffered in the clash between the teams earlier in the year.

HEAT'S ON IN QUEENSLAND Full match details and stats

After being labelled by Lions defender Nick Robertson as "soft" in the build-up, Gold Coast was anything but in front of its home fans.

They weren't clean – neither team was – but the Suns were ultra-competitive and could have easily pinched the win.

ZORKO v MILLER II Dayne's post-siren spray at Touk

Allen Christensen kicked a goal early in the final term after a dubious 50m penalty, and when Dayne Beams and Lewy Taylor followed suit, the Lions had a lead they would not relinquish.

A Jarryd Lyons goal with two minutes remaining made for a nervous finish, but a Stefan Martin contested mark on the wing sealed victory.

 

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said it was a relief to win a close game. 

"From our perspective it was a grind tonight," he said.

"It was good in a sense to grind away and win a game.

"It didn't look good and our boys found something. With all the close losses this year … it's good for them to get over the line in one of those games."

 

Beams was magnificent for the victors, winning the Marcus Ashcroft Medal for best afield with 38 disposals and nine clearances.

It is the third time in the past four QClashes Beams has been named the game's best player.

Harris Andrews also starred, controlling the backline and kicking a crucial goal on the three-quarter time siren when swung forward.

'SOFT' SUNS GO HARD Five talking points

After losing five games by seven points or less, the Lions finally won a close one, and had to do so without Rising Star hopeful Alex Witherden for much of the night after the young defender injured his hamstring in the first quarter.

Alex Sexton was terrific in defeat, kicking four goals, while Touk Miller again kept Dayne Zorko quiet, limiting the Lions All Australian to just 17 disposals.

 

Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew said he did not reference Robertson's words in his pre-match address, but his team "put their head over the ball" all night.

"I think both sides will look back and see they had chances, ours late, they had a lot of chances early," Dew said.

"It's disappointing. You can't question our effort, I think our boys played hard all night and unfortunately… it would have been nice to come away with a win."

Sexton got stuck into Robertson before the first bounce and then backed up his aggression, kicking three of his goals in the first half to keep the Suns in the hunt.

WATCH It was Fight Night in the QClash

Following a mini melee at quarter-time, emotions spilled over midway through the second term when Sean Lemmens hit young Lion Brandon Starcevich late and high in a marking contest.

 

Not surprisingly Mitch Robinson was the first man on the scene to remonstrate with Lemmens, which in turn brought players flying in from both teams.

Zorko ended up on the ground via a Miller shove and when the teams settled, Gold Coast got back to playing footy and lifted their intensity.

MEDICAL ROOM
Gold Coast: After a rough year with injuries, the Suns got through unscathed in this one. 

Brisbane: Young defender Alex Witherden hobbled off in the first quarter with a left hamstring injury and did not return. Coach Chris Fagan said the defender would not play in the final round.

 

NEXT UP
Brisbane has a tough task to finish its season, hosting West Coast at the Gabba next Sunday afternoon. Gold Coast has an even taller order, travelling to Geelong next Saturday to play a Cats team that has to win to secure their finals position.

GOLD COAST   1.2    6.4    8.6   11.8 (74)
BRISBANE       3.5   6.10  7.15  10.18 (78)           

GOALS
Gold Coast: Sexton 4, Ainsworth, Bowes, Crossley, Fiorini, Holman, Lyons, Young
Brisbane: Taylor 2, Andrews, Beams, Christensen, Mathieson, McCluggage, Rayner, Starcevich, Walker 

BEST 
Gold Coast: Sexton, Bowes, Miller, Swallow, Fiorini, Harbrow
Brisbane: Beams, McCluggage, Hodge, Andrews, Berry, Martin 

INJURIES 
Gold Coast: Nil                                                                                                                      
Brisbane: Witherden (hamstring) 

Reports: Sean Lemons (Gold Coast) reported for striking Brandon Starcevich (Brisbane) in the second quarter

Umpires: Haussen, Whetton, Meredith                    

Official crowd: 11,907 at Metricon Stadium