The Brisbane Lions have earned praise after celebrating their victory over Essendon by gifting flowers to fans at the Gabba ahead of Mother’s Day.
Having avoided the dreaded Sunday game that comes with low crowds as fans prioritise family time away from the footy, the Lions still made it a special night for mums in attendance.
WATCH IN THE VIDEO ABOVE: Lions deliver flowers to fans ahead of Mother’s Day.
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Players and even coach Chris Fagan hand-delivered bouquet to supporters in the front rows.
“They know what they’re doing, bunch of charmers,” Channel 7 commentator Alister Nicholson said.
“They know where they came from – this is a lovely touch as the Lions go around the ground ahead of Mother’s Day.
“They’re going around the ground, these are more hotly contested, I reckon, than a bride’s bouquet.
“Very popular, especially those presented by Joe Daniher who kicked six goals tonight. Fantastic.”
Irish star Conor McKenna posed for a selfie with the two lucky fans he found on the boundary.
Asked by Abbey Holmes how he was celebrating Mother’s Day, Lions young gun Will Ashcroft – fresh from racking up 28 disposals, the third most on the night – sent a quick message out to his mum Bekky.
“I delivered her some (flowers) yesterday,” said Will, the son of Lions triple premiership star Marcus.
“I’m lucky she got them (on time) yesterday! Hopefully she’s enjoying them and watching tonight.”
Brisbane trailed by 10 points at half-time but kicked 10 goals to two after that to move to second on the ladder.
Daniher carried the Lions’ attack against his old club, kicking half their tally of 12 goals.
It was Brisbane’s (7-2) sixth straight victory and a fourth consecutive loss for the Bombers (4-5), who were down on key men but made the hosts earn it.
Mason Redman (30 disposals) was prolific in the absence of star Essendon teammate Darcy Parish (calf) while Andrew McGrath put the clamps on a goalless Charlie Cameron.
For Brisbane, defenders Jack Payne and Harris Andrews were well supported by veteran defender Ryan Lester while Lachie Neale finished with 34 disposals and eight inside 50s.
Dylan Shiel appeared to shake off a third-quarter ankle injury while Zach Merrett managed seven clearances as the Bombers held tough against the Lions’ all-star midfield.
The Lions had averaged 119 points in their four home games this season but had just two goals – both Daniher’s – in a paltry 19-point total at halftime.
Missed sets shots from Daniher, Eric Hipwood and the returning Dayne Zorko all from the same slight angle meant they had no pay for their domination to begin the second quarter.
The Bombers obliged, Jake Stringer kicking straight and then Kyle Langford using his body smartly to snap the visitors to a shock lead.
When Jye Menzie was awarded a 50-metre penalty after rounding up Brandon Starcevich with possession they had a 10-point buffer at the main break.
There was a deluge of possession Brisbane’s way in the third, 17 inside 50s to two painting the picture as the Lions lifted.
And they didn’t waste them, Daniher kicking his third and fourth goals to put the Lions back in front.
Zac Bailey kicked the Lions’ fifth and when Oscar McInerney marked strongly and Hipwood’s radar improved the hosts were 23 points clear.
Langford booted his second against the run of play though and the gap was 17 at the final break.
Nick Hind’s slow release cost his side a goal, a 50m penalty allowing Bailey to kick his second to open the fourth quarter.
Daniher then effortlessly swung onto his left, hooking a shot around his body to kick a fifth to kill his former side’s hopes of an upset.
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