Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich says pure ticker propelled his side to an upset two-point win over Adelaide in an AFLW qualifying final thriller.
The Lions booted the last three goals to win 6.3 (39) to 5.7 (37) on Saturday at Adelaide’s Norwood Oval.
Brisbane booked a home preliminary final in a fortnight while minor premiers Adelaide next weekend host the winner of Gold Coast’s elimination final against Sydney.
The Crows have now lost four consecutive games to the Lions, including their only two defeats this season.
Adelaide coach Matthew Clarke, asked if Brisbane have the proverbial wood over his club, replied: “They have won the last four so it’s starting to feel that way.
“I felt they were a better team than us last year but I don’t necessarily think that’s the case this season.
“Both games have fallen their way … but I feel we’re more than capable of competing and having the result go the other way.”
Clarke’s counterpart Starcevich also dismissed suggestions his side had Adelaide’s measure.
“I don’t – and I don’t think the players think it,” he said.
But Starcevich marvelled at the “fair bit of ticker” of his players to rally after slipping 11 points down in the third quarter.
“They (Adelaide) were all over us … it was was looking like it was going to be a three or four-goal loss,” he said.
“But we found a way to hang in there and counter attack.”
The Lions, recording a dozen inside 50s to three, kicked 2.3 to 1.0 in a first quarter highlighted by Brisbane’s Orla O’Dwyer’s freak goal: pinned near the boundary line, she launched a left-footer through from 30 metres.
O’Dwyer finished with two majors, as did Dakota Davidson, who gave the visitors a match-high lead of 15 points seven minutes into the second term.
But Adelaide held a three-point halftime advantage, inspired by attacking ace Eloise Jones who kicked four goals from 17 disposals.
Scores were locked at 5.3 apiece at three quarter-time and Brisbane’s Ally Anderson soccered the sole goal of a frantic final term.
“Brisbane probably managed that last little piece of the game a little bit better than we did,” Clarke said.
“Any game under a goal, there’s a little bit of luck involved – but there’s some things we could have done better as well.”
Brisbane’s Anderson collected a team-high 16 disposals in her influential display while Isabel Dawes (15, seven tackles) and Jade Ellenger (14) were prominent.
Adelaide’s Jones was a standout for the Crows, who had the top seven ball-winners on the ground, headed by Ebony Marinoff (25) and Anne Hatchard (24).