Young Lions savour the sweet taste of victory

LONG TIME COMING: Lions coach Justin Leppitsch and his players celebrate their win over Essendon.
LONG TIME COMING: Lions coach Justin Leppitsch and his players celebrate their win over Essendon. TRACEY NEARMY

ESSENDON appears certain to claim its first wooden spoon in 83 years – and deny a relieved Brisbane of that “honour”.

With all the pressure on the Lions to perform, perform they did at Etihad Stadium, ending a club-record losing streak of 12 games in convincing fashion, 20.8 (128) to 12.19 (91).

It was their first win since the round-four QClash victory over the Gold Coast, and lifted them a game clear of the Bombers, who have now suffered 15 straight defeats.

For the likes of Eric Hipwood and Rhys Mathieson, it was a chance to savour the sweet taste of victory – literally, by way of the traditional Gatorade shower when standing in middle of the team circle as the players finally belted out the club song.

Though they were the underdogs, the Lions, and in particular coach Justin Leppitsch, would have had the blowtorch turned up on them even more if they had lost.

Instead, the heat decreases ever so slightly after maligned pair Tom Rockliff (38 disposals) and Daniel Rich (27) dominated possession for the visitors, along with Pearce Hanley (31), Ryan Bastinac (30) and ruckman Stef Martin (25), who won his battle with former Lion Matthew Leuenberger.

Tom Cutler (two goals) and Liam Dawson (two) also showed glimpses up forward, where ex-Cat Josh Walker (four goals) played his best game as the Lions kicked six goals to one in the third term to extend their half-time lead from 13 points to 40 and put the result beyond doubt.

Zach Merrett (34 disposals) was the best of the Bombers, who will surely take some consolation out of the fact that with the “spoon” will come their first ever No.1 draft pick.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Big problem with new pension pay rise

Retirees receive a slight pension boost from this month.

Pensioners will receive an extra $13.20 a fortnight from this month

Donations flood into storm ravaged regions

Amanda Lindh at Murwillumbah Community Centre. Thanks to News Corp, Givit and the Red Cross, the centre will soon be re-opening its food pantry. The pantry was destroyed by flooding in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.

12 months later, Cyclone Debbie's impact still felt

Debbie the second most costly cyclone in Australia's history

The Insurance Council of Australia says the cost of Debbie's damage is second only to Cyclone Tracy which devastated Darwin in December, 1974.

$1.71 billion to fix damage from Townsville to Lismore

Local Partners