BRISBANE has clung on in a tense final term to inflict Collingwood's first defeat of the season, and in the process catapult into genuine premiership contention.
After finding out less than 24 hours before bounce-down they would be on a flight to Melbourne, the Lions mastered the windy conditions at Whitten Oval to hold on to win 4.11 (35) to 4.8 (32).
LIONS v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats
They join the Magpies and Fremantle with a 6-1 win-loss record but sit second on percentage behind the Dockers.
Brisbane attacked from the outset, using its suffocating pressure to lead by 13 points at quarter-time, 10 at the half and 16 at the final change.
With Jordyn Allen (ankle) and Lauren Butler (hamstring) both off for the entire second half, Collingwood rallied with the wind at their back in the final term, but fell just short.
Maddie Shevlin had two chances in the final minute to snatch victory, but her soccered attempt from close range and difficult set shots both went wide.
Ally Anderson (26 disposals) led the way for Brisbane, but it was a total team effort, as its pressure all over the ground rattled the Magpies.
Cathy Svarc kept Bri Davey to just 14 disposals, while and Bree Koenen had the clamps on the dangerous Chloe Molloy, keeping her to just five.
Brit Bonnici was magnificent in defeat, racking up a game-high 28 disposals.
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Joanna Lin was having an 'almost' day until she produced a leg-break Shane Warne would have been proud of midway through the final term. The young Collingwood small forward was bobbing up here, there and everywhere and not quite getting the reward before she pounced on a loose ball just inside the 50m arc, flung it on her boot and watched it clear a pack of players before taking an extraordinary bounce to the left and scooting through the goals.
After keeping Collingwood star Bri Davey quiet for most of the day, it was fitting Cathy Svarc would produce the game's most telling moment. Unable to crack the Pies late in the third term, Svarc claimed a mark 55m from goal, immediately took off, steadied from 40m and banged home a goal. It gave Brisbane a sizeable lead ahead of an into-the-wind final quarter – a lead they clung to.
It's hard to pick one, but Bree Koenen's performance typified the Lions' defensive unit. After its first quarter domination of territory, Brisbane lost the inside 50 count 26-11 the rest of the way. Koenen was largely responsible for defending the competition's leading goalkicker Chloe Molloy, and kept her to a miserly five disposals. Shannon Campbell, Kate Lutkins and impressive Indy Tahau also held up well.
"The last 24 hours were a bit hectic. The players and coaches were immediately into "let's do this. It's a bit of a setback, but let's go and prove everyone wrong". It was a great motivating force in the end. I don't think historically, I can't remember, certainly not in AFLW, a team travelling three weeks in a row and getting three wins." - Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich
"It's pretty hard to go through a whole season winning every single game and we played against a really good team today. We still can't quite put four quarters together ... in the past we've probably got away with it but today (Brisbane) made us pay. They showed today they've got some spirit, they won't lay down ... they'll never quit." - Collingwood coach Steve Symonds
Brisbane is set for history next Saturday night when it plays its first match at the Gabba, hosting North Melbourne at 4.10pm (AEST). The match will precede the Brisbane-Sydney round one men's game. Collingwood will remain in Melbourne, returning to Victoria Park to play St Kilda earlier on the same afternoon (3.10pm AEDT).
BRISBANE 2.8 3.8 4.10 4.11 (35)
COLLINGWOOD 1.1 2.4 2.4 4.8 (32)
Brisbane: Hodder, Campbell, Wuetschner, Svarc
Collingwood: Sheridan 2, Alexander, Lin
Brisbane: Anderson, Conway, Bates, Svarc, Lutkins
Collingwood: Bonnici, Norder, Schleicher, Lambert, Chiocci
Brisbane: Bodey (head)
Collingwood: Allen (ankle), Butler (hamstring)
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