Melbourne will be anxiously awaiting an update on Daisy Pearce’s fitness ahead of the AFLW finals after the Demons captain suffered a knee injury in their two-point win over Brisbane.
Pearce got her leg caught underneath her when she was tackled while attempting to kick a goal in the opening two minutes of Saturday’s match at Casey Fields and immediately headed down to the rooms.
The 32-year-old was ruled out of the remainder of the match with “knee soreness”, leaving the Demons a player down.
From there, Brisbane took the ascendancy before Melbourne mounted a brave fight-back to secure a 6.2 (38) to 6.0 (36) victory – and with it, a home qualifying final.
The game was a missed opportunity for Brisbane who kicked out to a 17-point lead in the third quarter but let the game – and with it their shot at top spot – slip in the final term.
Young tall Eden Zanker dominated for the Demons with 25 disposals and Shelley Scott kicked three goals, while Brisbane’s Ally Anderson (22 touches) continued her excellent season and Lions forward Dakota Davidson booted two goals.
Lions sensation Courtney Hodder made her mark when she burned off her opponent, kicked the ball up to herself and steered through a goal on the run to give Brisbane some breathing room in the second term.
Brisbane looked in control when Lauren Arnell extended their lead to 17 points in the third term – before Scott’s third kept the Demons within touching distance at the final break.
Alyssa Bannan cut the deficit to five points with a long-range goal early in the final term – and Tyla Hanks put Melbourne in front barely a minute later.
Brisbane’s Greta Bodey received a free kick on the paint of 50m and lined up after the siren to win the game but her shot fell fell short.