Port Adelaide and the Brisbane Lions have completed a pick-swap, which sees the Power gain another pick inside this year’s top 20 at the cost of giving up their 2020 first-rounder.
Ash McGrath’s 55m goal after the siren in his 200th AFL match sealed one of the great comebacks for Brisbane over Geelong at the Gabba on Sunday.
Trailing by 52 points late in the third quarter, the Lions stormed home with 10 goals to one to claim a remarkable 15.13 (103) to 14.14 (98) win over the Cats.
Brent Moloney, Daniel Rich and Dayne Zorko – after an assist from the umpire’s foot – had all booted huge goals as the Lions managed to level the scores with under two minutes to go.
But a behind from Geelong forward Tom Hawkins put the visitors ahead with less than 30 seconds to go.
Controlled chaos followed as the Lions drove the ball forward via a flurry of handballs, kicks and desperate runs, eventually finding McGrath on the mark outside the 50m as the siren sounded.
McGrath then showed he was the coolest man in the Gabba as he went back and steered his kick home to the delight of the 24,164 attendees and the “restrained fury” of Cats coach Chris Scott.
The Lions’ fourth victory of the season will ease some of the pressure on coach Michael Voss, who was hoping the belief gained will drive his team forward.
“As a coach you have moments where you obviously completely lose your stuff,” he said.
“It’s just a credit to the guys who worked really hard. They’ve shown the capability that the group has … hopefully it can be a bit of a catalyst for us.”
Moloney, who kicked three goals, was one of the best for the home team while veteran midfielder Simon Black turned back the years with a superlative midfield display.
The Cats, who now have a 10-2 win-loss record, looked like they were heading to a comfortable victory and their inability to halt Brisbane’s charge simply came out of nowhere.
Prior to their collapse Hawkins had booted three goals as he threatened to repeat his six-goal display at the Gabba last year, while defenders Corey Enright and Joel Corey were stifling any Lions attacks.
The Cats had three players pick up 31 disposals in captain Joel Selwood, forward Steve Johnson and Mathew Stokes but coach Scott said the loss was a reflection of his team’s patchy form in recent weeks.
“I’m not going to jump to conclusions now, clearly I’m emotional,” Scott said.
“I’ve been really clear that we haven’t been playing well. That’s been happening for quite a while, even through the season. We’ve beaten some good teams but we’ve only played in fits and spurts.
“Fortunately for us it’s been good enough but tonight it wasn’t.”
Scott also refused to speculate on whether he was worried by a seemingly high bump from Johnson in the first quarter which left Pearce Hanley groggy and is sure to be looked at by the match review panel.