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Dakota Davidson produces late heroics in Lions hard-fought AFLW premiership triumph

Jarred Cross -

Brisbane Lions star Dakota Davidson has lifted her side to a come-from-behind win over North Melbourne.

The Gunditjmara forward slotted two goals with the contest on the line in the final term towards a 7.2 (44) - 4.3 (27) victory.

Davidson's heroics came just days after coach Craig Starcevich conceded the 24-year-old was only a "chance" to feature in the decider after injuring her knee in the Lions' nailbiting preliminary final win over Geelong.

Scans earlier in the week cleared Davidson of any serious injury, before being named in the squad after a late return to the training track.

After failing to find much of the footy through the first three quarters, two big grabs and subsequent set shots helped set up a late run away to lift their second cup from five grand final starts.

Her first cut North's slim three quarter time margin to within a point, before backing up with a second major to give Brisbane a five-point lead as the clock wound down to the final minutes.

Davidson told Fox Footy grand final triumphs are "all about moments" after the final siren.

She led the Lions scoring through 2023, ranking second in the competition for marks and picking up her maiden All Australian in the process.

Ally Anderson dictated much of the Lions' forward drive early on as her side sought field position over the short kicks for possession the Kangaroos favoured in the wrestle.

The AFLW season seven best-and-fairest ended the afternoon with 20 touches - a joint-team high, and six clearances.

Teammate Courtney Hodder proved her mantle as the competition's most courageous player with an almighty 18 tackles through the contest.

Hodder's defensive exploits set the tone through a match looked set to hinge on a late-stage deciding moment before her side pulled away.

North had looked the better side early in the contest.

Jawoyn midfielder Mia King equal-led her side for tackles, and collected plenty of hard-ball gets to give her Kangaroos every chance of clinching their first premiership.

King had 19 touches for 246 metres gained through the afternoon.

Brisbane played their city justice with an eventual grand final win after repeated losses through the nation's sporting codes in recent years.

It's the Lions second AFLW premiership after first clinching the title in 2019.

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