HAWTHORN has overturned a big margin to snap their four-match AFL losing streak with a stunning five-point upset of Brisbane.
The Hawks looked gone when they conceded four consecutive goals out of the half-time break and trailed by 22 points midway through the third term.
But with returning star Tom Mitchell (36 disposals) and young gun Jai Newcombe (27) influential in the middle, they surged home to win 18.9 (117) to 17.10 (112) on Sunday.
It was the Hawks’ first victory since Easter Monday and the highest score Brisbane has conceded this season, coming in just their second loss of the campaign.
There was one concern for Hawthorn when ruckman Max Lynch was taken from the field in the dying stages after an accidental clash of heads with Darcy Fort.
The Hawks’ can ill-afford to lose another ruckman, with Ben McEvoy (neck) and Ned Reeves (shoulder) already sidelined.
In an epic arm wrestle in Launceston, the lead changed hands nine times, including five times during a see-sawing final term.
Impressive Brisbane youngster Jaxon Prior put his side in front from one of many soft free kicks paid throughout the day before Mitch Lewis replied almost instantly to snatch back the lead for the last time.
Hawthorn kicked three straight goals to break clear in a match-winning burst as the Lions lost Hugh McCluggage to a hamstring injury.
Lewis stood tall against a Brisbane defence that sorely missed Marcus Adams, who was out through virus protocols.
Key forward Lewis kicked four goals, with Chad Wingard (three), Sam Butler and Dylan Moore (both two) also contributing.
Stand-in Hawks captain James Sicily kept Brisbane spearhead Eric Hipwood quiet.
Charlie Cameron kicked 3.3 for the Lions and could’ve given them a sniff with just enough time remaining.
But his dribbled shot from the boundary missed with teammates appealing for a pass in the corridor.
Dayne Zorko’s goal put Brisbane back within a kick with just two seconds left on the clock.
Prior finished with three goals in an impressive display and Lincoln McCarthy kicked two, the first in each half.
Jarryd Lyons (32 disposals) and Daniel Rich (33) were among the Lions best, while Brownlow Medal fancy Lachie Neale started strongly but drifted out of the game, finishing with 25 and a goal.
Hawthorn had a 36-27 free-kick advantage in a game that featured a raft of soft decisions by the trio of whistle-happy umpires.
(C) AAP 2022