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2001 AFL Grand Final
Home Team Essendon
Away Team Brisbane Lions
Date 29 September 2001
Stadium MCG
City Melbourne
TV in Australia
Network Seven Network
Announcers Bruce McAvaney and Sandy Roberts
 < 2000  AFL Grand Final  2002 > 

The 2001 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Essendon Football Club and the Brisbane Lions, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 29 September 2001. It was the 105th annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League/Australian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 2001 AFL season. The match, attended by 91,482 spectators, was won by Brisbane by a margin of 26 points, marking that club's first premiership victory.



Essendon were defending their 2000 premiership crown, and went into the game having finished on top of the ladder on percentage ahead of second placed Brisbane (both had won 17 games). Brisbane had won fifteen consecutive games leading up to the Grand Final, a streak which commenced with a major upset of Essendon at the Gabba in round 10. It was the Lions' first appearance in a Grand Final after joining the VFL/AFL in 1987. Essendon were the dominant team between 1999 and 2001, losing just 11 games from the start of 1999 until the 2001 Grand Final.

In the 2001 finals series, Essendon defeated Richmond by 70 points in the First Qualifying Final and then defeated Hawthorn by 10 points in the First Preliminary Final to advance to the Grand Final. Brisbane earnt their place in the Grand Final by defeating Port Adelaide by 32 points in the Second Qualifying Final and then Richmond by 68 points in the Second Preliminary Final.

In the lead-up to the match, Brisbane's Jason Akermanis won the Brownlow Medal.

Match summary

Brisbane started the game well, scoring the first goal of the match from a free kick awarded to Alistair Lynch for holding against Dustin Fletcher. Essendon fought back late in the first quarter then took control of the game in the second term. Brisbane's poor kicking for goal almost put them out of the game in the second quarter as Essendon blew their lead out to 20 points late in the term. Brisbane had kicked an inaccurate 5.10 by the half time break.

Brisbane managed to overrun Essendon in the third term kicking six goals to one and turning a 14 point deficit into a 16 point lead. Brisbane's pace in the midfield and the tiring legs of most of the Essendon players played a pivotal role in Brisbane taking full control of the game in the second half, to win comfortably. Essendon had scored two late goals in the last quarter after once trailing by as much as 39 points.

Shaun Hart of the Lions was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for being judged the best player afield. Matthew Lloyd was amongst the best for Essendon, kicking 5 goals.

Essendon captain James Hird was visually shattered and disappointed in his post match speech. A quick congratulations to Brisbane for winning was followed by a public apology to Bombers fans for letting them down.


These are the selected teams as they were announced prior to the game.

2001 Brisbane Lions Grand Final Team
B: Chris Johnson Justin Leppitsch Darryl White
HB: Nigel Lappin Chris Scott Marcus Ashcroft
C: Jason Akermanis Michael Voss Robert Copeland
HF: Shaun Hart Jonathan Brown Luke Power
F: Daniel Bradshaw Alastair Lynch Martin Pike
Foll: Clark Keating Simon Black Brad Scott
Int: Beau McDonald Craig McRae Tim Notting
Mal Michael
Coach: Leigh Matthews
2001 Essendon Grand Final Team
B: Danny Jacobs Dustin Fletcher Sean Wellman
HB: Mark Johnson Dean Solomon Damien Hardwick
C: Adam Ramanauskas Chris Heffernan Blake Caracella
HF: James Hird Scott Lucas Dean Rioli
F: Gary Moorcroft Matthew Lloyd Steven Alessio
Foll: John Barnes Jason Johnson Joe Misiti
Int: Mark McVeigh Justin Blumfield Mark Mercuri
Paul Barnard
Coach: Kevin Sheedy


Essendon vs Brisbane Lions
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Final
Essendon 3.2 (20) 8.6 (54) 9.8 (62) 12.10 (82)
Brisbane Lions 3.7 (25) 5.10 (40) 11.12 (78) 15.18 (108)
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Date: 29 September 2001
Attendance: 91,482
Umpires: Scott McLaren (11), Martin Ellis (23), Mathew James (5)
Goal scorers: Essendon 5: Lloyd
4: Lucas
1: Caracella, Johnson, Moorcroft
Brisbane Lions 3: L Power
2: Akermanis, J Brown, N Lappin, A Lynch
1. Ashcroft, Notting, Pike, M Voss
Best: Essendon Lloyd, Lucas, J Johnson
Brisbane Lions Hart, Johnson, Voss, Lappin, Power
Reports: nil
Injuries: nil
Coin toss winner: Michael Voss, Brisbane Lions
Norm Smith Medal: Shaun Hart, Brisbane Lions
Australian television broadcaster: Seven Network
National Anthem: Julie Anthony
Team Stats (Bris) (Ess)
Kicks 176 165
Marks 73 60
Handballs 78 90
Tackles 34 54
Hitouts 39 26
Frees 22 19

See also



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