BRISBANE will play in its third NAB AFL Women's Grand Final after outlasting Collingwood by four points in a thrilling preliminary final victory at the Gabba on Saturday.
The Lions ensured it would be a rematch of the inaugural decider in 2017 when they travel to Adelaide to play the Crows following their 7.3 (45) to 6.5 (41) victory.
In a physical contest that went back and forth all day, Brisbane trailed by two points at the final change, but goals to Greta Bodey and Dakota Davidson looked to have sealed victory.
However, there was one final twist when Magpie Ash Brazill bombed a goal from 45m in the final 30 seconds to ensure a heart-stopping finish.
But the Lions hung on in front of a jubilant home crowd to take them to a third decider following losses against Adelaide in 2017 and the Western Bulldogs in 2018.
Davidson was magnificent for the victors, kicking three goals, while Bodey added two and midfielder Ally Anderson (24 disposals) was prolific all day.
Collingwood kicked two goals in the opening six minutes of the match, but Brisbane took total control with a four-goals-to-one second quarter, upping its intensity around the contest and pressuring the Magpies into mistakes.
They won the contested ball count by 13 in that quarter, generating eight more inside 50s.
Collingwood star Bri Davey had the better of an engrossing duel with Cathy Svarc, finishing with 23 disposals, including three clearances.
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Tarni Brown made a name for herself last week by kicking the match-winning goal against North Melbourne, and the 19-year-old again provided a thrilling highlight against the Lions. Midway through the second term Brown gathered the ball inside the centre square and took off. Although she may have traveled a touch further than her allotted 15m without a bounce, Brown's lightning speed and polished finish on the run was a joy to watch.
In a match in which she put Brisbane on her broad shoulders, key forward Dakota Davidson saved her best for last. With her team-leading by just five points early in the final term, Davidson wrapped her safe hands around a speculative Tahlia Hickie kick. The 22-year-old then went back and banged home the set shot from 35m to give the home team a cushion it would hold on to. Three goals from 12 disposals and five marks was a huge output in a tight contest.
The much-anticipated rematch between Collingwood star Bri Davey and Brisbane stopper Cathy Svarc did not disappoint. After Svarc kept the Magpie to just 14 disposals when the teams last met, Davey flipped the script with a tireless performance in the hot conditions. She finished with 23 disposals – most with the relentless Lion nearby – to slightly have the better of the duel. Davey's full-length smother of Svarc's first disposal set the tone for a gripping contest.
"I'm very proud of them. To come from behind and win a game like that, when the opposition were amazing really. They just kept coming and we found a way to keep our noses in front to get the result. When it was there to be won, I thought we lifted. We got in first and started winning some ball, our pressure was good all day." - Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich
"Players and staff are all a little bit down. I think it was a fantastic game of footy, it could have gone either way in the end. From a coach's perspective, from what our playing group has put up this year, and particularly the last couple of weeks, we've got so much fight in us. We're all disappointed but immensely proud of the group we've got." - Collingwood coach Steve Symonds
BRISBANE 1.1 5.1 5.2 7.3 (45)
COLLINGWOOD 2.3 3.3 5.4 6.5 (41)
Brisbane: Davidson 3, Bodey 2, O'Dwyer Wuetschner
Collingwood: Alexander, Brown, Brazill, Lambert, Norder, Schleicher
Brisbane: Davidson, Lutkins, Anderson, Hickie, Bodey, Dawes
Collingwood: Davey, Brazill, Schleicher, Porter, Bonnici, Lambert