Dee-licious: Daisy gets her flag as Demons stun Lions

MELBOURNE has broken through for its maiden AFLW premiership, shaking off a slow start and underdog status to beat Brisbane by four points at Brighton Homes Arena.

LIONS v DEMONS Full match coverage and stats

The teams were separated by just 0.3 per cent on the ladder at the end of the home-and-away season, and the game played out like it too, a see-sawing, high-pressure affair with a nail-biting fourth quarter, seeing the Dees come to the good in the 2.7 (19) to 2.3 (15) result.

Last two mins: Dees hold off Lions to win maiden flag

02:56 Nov 27. 2022. 4:28 PM

Enjoy the thrilling final moments of the Grand Final between the Demons and Lions

It's sweet relief for beloved Dees skipper Daisy Pearce, winning her first AFLW premiership in what could be her final season, while its also just reward for inaugural Dees coach Mick Stinear, who has held the team together beautifully in the face of expansion sides.

The Lions had started full of spark, Dakota Davidson converting a set shot and celebrating in typically exuberant fashion, followed by a Cathy Svarc goal.

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The second quarter has been Brisbane's domain this season, having only lost two thus far, but it didn't faze Melbourne in the slightest.

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00:38 Nov 27. 2022. 2:55 PM

Brisbane earns the opening major of the Grand Final after a solid mark and set shot from gun forward Dakota Davidson

The Dees came out with renewed intent, especially around the stoppages where its quick-passing game began to kick into gear.

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Just inaccuracy – and some elite Shannon Campbell defending on the last line of defence, who was named best on ground – kept the Lions ahead by two points at the main break.

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01:22 Nov 27. 2022. 5:01 PM

Shannon Campbell never stopped trying for the Lions and falls agonisingly short after her impressive outing in defence

Of course, it had to be Tayla Harris to take the lead for the first time, marking a curling snap from Kate Hore at the start of the third.

Harris stands tallest to claim crucial Grand Final goal

01:00 Nov 27. 2022. 4:05 PM

Tayla Harris finds some space at the top of the goalsquare and slams through a huge major for the Demons

Davidson had a set shot on the three-quarter-time siren, but her kick drifted right.

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The spearhead laid two bone-crunching tackles in the fourth term, but was only paid a holding the ball free kick in one, and while they prevented Melbourne from scoring, they were too far afield to have an impact in attack.

AFLW S7 Highlights: Brisbane v Melbourne

04:59 Nov 27. 2022. 4:44 PM

The Lions and Demons clash in the Grand Final of the 2022 NAB AFL Women's Competition

There was an intriguing battle between AFLW leading goalkicker Jesse Wardlaw and the equal-tallest player in the competition in Tahlia Gillard, with the young Dee well and truly coming up trumps.

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The Demons' full-team defence was simply superb after the first quarter, keeping the side in the game and suffocating Brisbane's run-and-carry game.

Sophie Conway and Karen Paxman compete for the ball in the AFLW S7 Grand Final between Brisbane and Melbourne at Brighton Homes Arena. Picture: Getty Images

Karen Paxman was caught at the bottom of a pack featuring a soaring Tayla Harris in the fourth quarter, and left the field in groggy fashion.

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Bannan's quick-fire hands feed Mackin for mega finish

00:49 Nov 27. 2022. 3:24 PM

Blaithin Mackin earns the all-important first goal for her side with this superb finish on the run

Desperation in defence
Brisbane had dominated the opening portion of the game, but Melbourne looked like it was finally going to break through on a rare fast break. Some quick hands out of a contest ending in Megan Fitzsimon streaming towards goal, but All-Australian Brisbane defender Nat Grider was having none of it, launching herself forward for a goal-saving tackle.

Grider's goal-saving mow down sends crowd into frenzy

00:42 Nov 27. 2022. 3:04 PM

Nat Grider produces a special Grand Final moment with this super chase and tackle to prevent a certain major

Wounded skipper
Brisbane skipper Breanna Koenen left the ground in the tail end of the second quarter, limping badly with a right knee issue. Named All-Australian vice-captain this season, Koenen has been a mainstay of Brisbane's backline for years, and her absence unsettled the Lions. She returned for the second half, but was clearly hindered with a heavily strapped knee.

Injury fears for Lions skipper

00:32 Nov 27. 2022. 3:35 PM

Brisbane captain Bre Koenen hobbles off the ground after appearing to hurt her knee, but returned in the second half

BRISBANE          2.0     2.0     2.3     2.3    (15)
MELBOURNE     0.1     1.4     2.5     2.7     (19)

Brisbane: Davidson, C. Svarc
Melbourne: Mackin, Harris

Campbell, Grider, C. Svarc, Anderson, Bates
Melbourne: Hanks, West, Gay, Purcell, Gillard

Koenen (right knee)
Melbourne: Nil

Reports: Nil

Crowd: 7,412 at Brighton Homes Arena