Sun, Sep 28, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Brisbane Lions get third consecutive final championship

AP , MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

The Brisbane Lions became the most successful Australian Rules football team in nearly 50 years Saturday, winning their third consecutive grand final championship with a 50-point win over the Collingwood Magpies.

The Lions won 20.14 (134) to 12.12 (84) before a crowd of 79,451 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with Jason Akermanis kicking five goals and Alastair Lynch four.

Live television provided the match to 170 million homes in 72 countries.

The Australian Football League victory put coach Leigh Matthews' side in illustrious company as just the fourth team to win three consecutive premierships and the first since Melbourne in 1955-1957.

Brisbane midfielder Simon Black was awarded the Norm Smith Medal as the best player in the match.

The Lions withstood an early challenge from Collingwood and took control in the second quarter by kicking six goals to one, a burst that blew the game open and made the margin 42 points at halftime.

Collingwood narrowed the gap to 30 points with two goals in the first five minutes of the second half, but Akermanis' third goal restored the margin and the Lions never looked back.

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