Daniel Rich gives a thumbs up to Brisbane fans after playing a leading role in the Lions rampage over the Western Bulldogs at the Gabba. Photo: Chris Hyde
That's the end of the road for the Lions and the Bulldogs. Brisbane end their season with a third-consecutive win as they demolish the Dogs by 67 points at the Gabba. After four wins in 2011, the Lions add six to that tally to make it 10 for the campaign. It wasn't good enough for the finals but the signs are decent for a run at the eight next time out of the gates.
The Bulldogs never looked interested until the dying stages of the final quarter. They finish the season with just the five victories, only beating home Melbourne, the Gold Coast and GWS.
FULLTIME Brisbane Lions 19-14-128 defeat Western Bulldogs 9-7-61. Rich gets one from 60m away on the siren to conclude what may have been the longest quarter in AFL history, or at least it felt like that.
30th min (4th) A bit of feeling creeping into this game, with half an hour gone in the final quarter.
28th min (4th) How is this game still going?
24th min (4th) Tom Campbell goals for the Dogs as this degenerates into a shootout. Hard to motivate yourself to run at this point in the game and the season with the result a foregone conclusion. Score is 114-61 in favour of the Lions. Make that 120-61 as Polkinghorne gets his first.
20th min (4th) The Dogs have the past 19 points and the score has closed to 108-55 in favour of Brisbane. The only people concerned would be a few punters sweating the points difference. Daniel Rich fires back for the Lions and score moves to 17-12-114 to 8-7-55. Nearly there folks.
14th min (4th) Cooney gets one for the Dogs. The crowd greets it with complete and utter silence. The few Bulldogs fans I saw here earlier might all be watching from the German Club over the road at this point. It's 108-43 in favour of Brisbane. I would say they'd like to close it out but they did that in the second quarter.
6th min (4th) The crowd today is 18,289, which isn't terrible given the deafening lack of buzz around this game. The Lions members are hardy folk if nothing else and the core of them have turned up after a tough season. They'll get an easy win tonight to send them out happy and Brown will make the smile a little bigger. That's number four for the big forward and the Lions lead 15-12-102 to 5-6-36.
1st min (4th) That's some sort of pep talk. The Dogs jag one in the opening flurry of the final term and bring the deficit back to 60. Turning point?
THIRD QUARTER Brisbane Lions 14-12-96 Western Bulldogs 4-6-30. Are we there yet?
27th min (3rd) Not a great deal happening here at the Gabba, hence the radio silence. And just as I type that, Pearce Hanley takes the Lions out to a 13-12-90 to 4-6-30 lead. The Dogs just can't get anything resembling momentum and now Raines sprints from midfield to dagger that through for the Lions. The lead is out to 66. I wouldn't be surprised if they win by 100.
20th min (3rd) We seem to have an issue with the score update on the Match Centre up top so I'll post the scores regularly down here, although it's not exactly neck-and-neck. Lions leading by 52 points as the third quarter moves into its twilight.
17th min (3rd) Lisle claps and celebrates his second goal, or he could be celebrating the fact fulltime has ticked a few minutes closer. In either case, he's happy. That's his second and now Grant fires back with one to the Dogs. This game has CAUGHT FIRE. Lions leading the Dogs 82-30.
13th min (3rd) Higgins taken high(ish), or at least high enough to get a shot at goal and he kicks his second to make it 76-24. This match just grinding its way towards a seemingly inevitable conclusion. Lions up by 52.
4th min (3rd) Brown bags another to get the Lions motoring in the third. Their lead is now 67-18 as Green just misses another. Just two goals for the Bulldogs tonight and they are halfway to the airport by the looks of things. It's a flogging already but if it gets too much worse and heads drop even further, we could see a dreadful drubbing. And there's a goal to Redden to make it 11-8-74 to 2-6-18. Ouch.
HALFTIME Daniel Rich gets one on the siren and the Lions lead 9-7-61 to 2-5-17. Absolute murder here at the Gabba and only one side has their heart in it at this point. The clock is ticking on the seasons of both clubs but it looks as if the Lions are the only ones that are going to have anything to smile about over a beer or two.
25th min (2nd) Shaun Higgins (Boson) gets one back for the Bulldogs, if anyone is still out there reading. Stay with me. Come on now. Nearly there. It's 54 playing 16 and already the press box is debating Browny's potential schooner consumption on Mad Monday. I don't have enough fingers and toes. Misses to the left with that shot.
21st min (2nd) Pretty good footy from the Lions. Black at the epicentre as it goes through the hands to Bewick, who marks and threads the left-footer through on the angle for his second goal. Brisbane in complete command and lead by 44 points. That one goal to the Dogs has been their sole highlight of the game so far but it only served to nudge the Lions up a gear.
15th min (2nd) Rohan Bewick goals for the Lions to make it 7-5-47 to.... wait for it.... 0-4-4. That's the sixth goal for the Lions this quarter, while the Dogs did get a really well-played behind at one point. But wait for it... Dickson has a ping and he gets one for the Bulldogs! Are they back? No. Are they slightly less embarrassed? Yep.
8th min (2nd) Beams gets a 50m piggy back and the Lions get their fourth goal. And their fifth as Brown gets a double. It's 5-5-35 to 0-3-3. At least the Lions have livened up a bit. The Bulldogs haven't been able to get past halfway. Josh Green in on the action now. Make that 41-3. This is hideous stuff from the Dogs.
3rd min (2nd) The Lions are on fire here, as in they've scored their second goal. Daniel Rich knocks it through and it's 2-4-16 to 0-3-3. And hold the phone - here's Jon Brown leading out and marking in front. He kicks it, the Lions smashing them. It's now 22-3. Mercy rule? I think we'd all appreciate that.
1st QUARTER Lions lead 1-4-10 to 0-3-3. Sweet Jesus.
25th min (1st) Polkinghorne hits the post - from two metres away.
24th min (1st) Rockliff! Hits the post! How about that for drama. Lions extend their potentially match-winning lead to 9-2.
18th min (1st) Well, this is all a bit ho-hum. Lions lead 8-2 and the goal to Lisle might win it at this stage. The quality of football at this point is a fair reflection of their position on the ladder. And that's being generous.
13th min (1st) Quite a bit of polite golf clapping around the ground at the moment. Panning out like a real 13th v 15th clash. Scrappy stuff on the ground, a few hopeful kicks inside 50 to men with three around them - I'm hoping it bursts into life at some point. Soon, please. Lions lead 8-1.
6th min (1st) Jordan Lisle gets the first goal of the afternoon, marking in front and slotting it through from about 30m out. Brisbane up a goal to the behind of the Bulldogs. They lead 1-1-7 to 0-1-1.
3rd min (1st) Nobody threatening the goal just yet as the Bulldogs work it out from in front of goal. Brisbane having the better of the territory though. I'd pick them for the first major if I had to take a punt.
4.35pm Good afternoon folks. It's the 13th v 15th match to finish the AFL season and as a result, we've got a Sheffield Shield type crowd at the Gabba to watch this one at the strange and small-child unfriendly time of 4.40pm on a Sunday. Let's hope we get a good contest to counter the lack of buzz about this one. The Lions in decent shape and should win this at home, which would give them three wins on the trot to finish a their season.