Former Melbourne player comes back to haut his former side with best-on-ground performance.
Former Demon Brent Moloney tormented his troubled old club as Brisbane scored a pressure-relieving 28-point win at the Gabba.
Moloney celebrated his 150th senior match with a game-high 35 disposals as the Lions swept aside Melbourne 17.20 (122) to 14.10 (94) in a match that typified a battle between 16th and 17th on the ladder.
Brisbane largely dominated – shown by their 100 more possessions at three-quarter time – but goalkicking inaccuracy kept Melbourne in the contest until midway through the final quarter.
Crowd favourite Dayne Zorko rivalled Moloney for the Lions’ best, kicking three majors and racking up 29 touches, but could be in trouble with the match review panel after lashing out at Luke Tapscott in the dying stages.
Co-captain Jonathan Brown also finished with three goals, in the process kicking his 300th major at the Gabba.
Coming off an insipid 63-point loss to the Kangaroos, it was a crucial second win of the season for Brisbane coach Michael Voss heading into a horror stretch of eight matches against legitimate finals contenders.
Without Daniel Rich and Simon Black in an injury-hit midfield division, recruit Moloney stood up brilliantly for the Lions.
Moloney had 20 disposals by halftime as the Lions dominated possession and Jed Adcock and Ash McGrath rebounded well out of defence.
But Brisbane’s accuracy in front of goal let them down badly.
After kicking 5.1 late into a vibrant opening term in the sun, in which the lead changed five times, the home side frustrated the 19,018-strong Gabba crowd with a wasteful 2.10 for the rest of the half.
Skipper Brown wasn’t immune to the yips, botching a close-range chance.
It was Lions ruckman Matthew Leuenberger who stepped up to show his mettle in regular stints in the goalsquare, sparking the Lions’ six-goal third-quarter surge with his third major.
James Polkinghorne impressed on his promotion with 30 disposals but blotted his copybook by being reported for an off-the-ball trip which also resulted in a 50m free and goal to Shannon Byrnes.
Besieged Melbourne coach Mark Neeld saved Aaron Davey up until late in the third term, the substitute eventually coming on for Sam Blease, but the Demons’ kick only came in the final 10 minutes as they booted the last three goals of the match