Bruce McAvaney’s commentary on Channel Seven were unforgettable. “Voss … in the pocket ... close … he’s done it … the captain … how fitting that the player of the year in so many ways has delivered the knockout blow,” he said.
Late in the final quarter of the 2001 grand final Michael Voss received a short handpass from ruckman Beau McDonald after he’d taken the ball from a boundary throw-in and eluded two would-be tacklers.
From 30m on an almost impossible angle at the Punt Road end of the MCG, on the Brunton Road side of the ground, Voss wobbled the most beautiful ugly kick through the big sticks. An exquisite inside out torpedo.
It was 13-17 to 10-9. Lions by 26 points. The skipper turned to the crowd and gave his trademark No.1 salute with his left hand before gritting his teeth and heading back to the middle of the ground.
Even then, with the job done, he didn’t allow himself to celebrate until the final siren sounded and the Brisbane Lions had officially won the 2001 AFL grand final.
It was the moment. The No.1 iconic moment in a game full of iconic moments on a day when the Brisbane Lions, a union of the one-time battling Brisbane Bears and the famous Fitzroy Lions, claimed their first AFL premiership.
Luke Power goaled on the run and then Jason Akermanis, crowned the 2001 Brownlow Medallist five nights earlier, converted a set out. It was 38 points. Junk time goals for Matthew Lloyd and Scott Lucas moved the score to 15-18 (108) to 12-10 (82).
As the final seconds ticked down Alastair Lynch marked on centre wing. He walked back slowly. And then it went. The siren sounded. The only player in the side who had played for all three parts of the club’s history. A Lion turned Bear turned Lion again.
At 33 in his 249th game Lynch thrust the ball skyward in one hand before he was mobbed by teammates. It was iconic moment No.2 as the celebrations began in earnest.
In a midfield full of superstars the often unheralded Shaun Hart received the Norm Smith Medal.
A man who had gone within a whisker of being de-listed early in his career when the club was based at Carrara had set the tone early.
He charged head-first at Essendon captain James Hird in pursuit of a loose ball. With an always menacing Damien Hardwick in the vicinity too, he didn’t hesitate. An iron-hard 175cm and 75kg, he took possession as his helmet went cartwheeling through the air.
Another iconic moment. There were so many. For Lions fans it is compulsory viewing. If you’ve seen it before watch it again. And if you haven’t seen it do yourself a favor.
Shortly after halftime Marcus Ashcroft, in his 268th game with three wooden-spoons in his pocket from the days at Carrara, had two bounces from midfield and let fly. A brilliant shepherd from Lynch on the goalline. Goal.