Lincoln McCarthy celebrates a goal during the round 19 clash between Brisbane and Geelong on July 22, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

FOR the second week in succession Brisbane wobbled in the last quarter, but unlike eight days ago against Melbourne, this time the Lions held on by 11 points against a fast-finishing Geelong at the Gabba.

After leading by 37 points in the third term in front of a sold-out home crowd, the Lions watched their advantage whittle to just 11 points midway through the fourth as the premiers came hard.

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But a powerful mark and clutch goal from Cal Ah Chee – who played the best game of his career – steadied the ship.

Brisbane held on to win 9.10 (64) to 7.11 (53) to keep its top-two chances alive.


The main concern coming out of the triumph was a knee injury suffered by first-year sensation Will Ashcroft midway through the last quarter that saw him hobble from the field, supported by club medical staff.

The Lions deserved their victory, keeping Geelong to just one goal in the first half with suffocating defensive pressure.

Ah Chee (23 disposals and one goal) was magnificent, bobbing up forward, back and on the wing to cap off a week in which he also signed a two-year contract extension.


Josh Dunkley (27, eight tackles and seven clearances) was crucial when the game got close, executing a couple of bone-crunching tackles to lift his team.

Hugh McCluggage, Lachie Neale and Darcy Wilmot were also influential, while Cam Rayner had some big moments with his clean hands.

The victory came on the back of an incredible dominance at the stoppages, with Brisbane holding a whopping 49-22 advantage.


From there the Lions were able to get the ball going forward and lock it in their front half with a well organised all-ground defence.

However, despite struggling to test Brisbane for much of the game, Geelong clicked into gear late in the third term to give the hosts a huge scare.

Jeremy Cameron kicked three goals – two from poor Brisbane kicks – and when Ollie Henry kicked one halfway through the fourth, the margin was just 11.


But the Cats left themselves too much work, with the loss making their top-four chances almost extinct.

Brisbane dominated early, keeping Geelong goalless in the opening quarter for the first time since 2015.

Things were much the same in the second, with Brisbane edging out to a 21-point lead on the back of a long-range goal to Conor McKenna and a fine finish from Joe Daniher.

Geelong had to wait until the 20th minute of the second term to kick its first goal, courtesy of a piece of Patrick Dangerfield brilliance, marking and playing on to hammer one home from 50m.


Ashcroft knee injury
Midway through the final quarter and with the game squarely in the balance, Brisbane's first-year sensation Will Ashcroft crumbled to the ground holding his right knee. After play was stopped and the Lions' trainers came to attend, the No.2 pick from last year's draft hobbled from the ground and did not return. 


Cal Ah Chee grabs his chance
A player that is seemingly always on the periphery for Brisbane, Cal Ah Chee was brought back into the 22 following the calf injury suffered by Zac Bailey at training on Thursday. After signing a two-year contract extension during the week, Ah Chee played like a man on a mission, hurling himself into contests, applying vigorous defensive pressure, and linking up in attack as he switched between the wing and half-forward. It was a career-best performance from the 25-year-old, with his 23 disposals and clutch last quarter goal critical in the victory. 

Callum Ah Chee marks during the round 19 clash between Brisbane and Geelong on July 22, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Tom Stewart the midfielder?
After a first half where Geelong was beaten badly around the contest (23-12 at clearance), Chris Scott made the unusual move of throwing Tom Stewart into the centre square. At each centre bounce in the third quarter, Stewart – who was dominating at half-back with his intercept possessions – lined up alongside Lachie Neale to try and quell his influence. The four-time All-Australian was physical at the contest, even grabbing a clearance, before quickly reverting to his defensive position once the ball was cleared.


BRISBANE            2.5      4.8      7.9      9.10 (64)
GEELONG              0.3      1.5      3.8      7.11 (53) 

Brisbane: McCarthy 2, Daniher 2, Hipwood 2, McKenna, Cameron, Ah Chee
Geelong: Cameron 3, Dangerfield 2, O.Henry, Stengle 

Brisbane: Ah Chee, Dunkley, McCluggage, McKenna, Rayner, Wilmot
Geelong: Stewart, Dangerfield, Blicavs, Duncan, Bowes 

Brisbane: Ashcroft (knee)
Geelong: Nil 

Brisbane: Nil
Geelong: Gary Rohan (injured) replaced in selected side by Zach Tuohy

Brisbane: Kai Lohmann (replaced Will Ashcroft in the fourth quarter)
Geelong: Oisin Mullin (replaced Tanner Bruhn in the third quarter)

Crowd: 32,586 at the Gabba