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Bailey lifts Lions to AFL win over Suns

A career-best six-goal haul by Brisbane’s Zac Bailey has lifted the Lions to a seventh-straight AFL Queensland derby win, defeating Gold Coast by 52 points at Metricon Stadium.

Bailey was the stand-out performer for the Lions who moved to 5-1 thanks to the 21.6 (132) to 11.14 (80) win over the Suns on Sunday.

The 22-year-old kicked two goals apiece in the opening two terms including a magical piece of crumbing in the second quarter when he scooped up a wet footy in his right hand before snapping home on the run in almost the same motion.

When Bailey kicked his fifth goal early in the third quarter, the Lions had opened up a comfortable lead to continue a dominance over their neighbours extending back to 2018.

Bailey’s sixth in the final term equalled the record for goals in a Queensland derby, matching previous efforts by Ash McGrath, Charlie Dixon and Charlie Cameron, with the livewire claiming the Marcus Ashcroft Medal as best on ground.

“He’s been on the rise for a couple of years. It’s only six games in and he’s probably taken another step forward in his football,” Lions coach Chris Fagan said of Bailey.

“He’s a great finisher, a clever player. We are lucky to have him.”

Having been held to just three touches in the opening half, Cameron made his impression on the match with four goals while tall forward Joe Daniher had three majors.

Former Sun Jarryd Lyons again had a day out against his former club, ending the game with 852 metres gained from 30 possessions, 13 clearances and 10 tackles.

Fellow midfielder Hugh McCluggage had 22 disposals and nine tackles in a strong display, while Lincoln McCarthy celebrated his 100th AFL match with a fourth-quarter goal and 22 touches.

Gold Coast, who are now 2-4, fought hard but were undone by some inaccurate finishing in front of goal, an effort acknowledged by Fagan.

“That’s as good as Gold Coast has ever played against us,” he said.

“I actually think that was our best win for the year.

“Their contest, their pressure, was outstanding. Our contest, our pressure, was equally as good.”

Despite those misses, Nick Holman and recruit Levi Casboult kicked three majors each for the Suns in positive efforts.

Ben Ainsworth (22 disposals, one goal and three goal assists) was among the home team’s best, while Noah Anderson (33 disposals) and Matt Rowell (24 disposals, 13 clearances) were also busy.

“The gap was the ease at which they scored,” Suns coach Stuart Dew said.

“I hate the way it rolls off my tongue because it was just so disappointing that we didn’t put up more resistance because we had some good numbers in certain areas, but against good teams they make you pay and Brisbane are certainly that.”

Brisbane youngster Kai Lohmann’s second AFL game ended prematurely when he limped off in the second quarter with an ankle injury after falling awkwardly in a Lachie Weller tackle.

Both teams are on the road next weekend, with Gold Coast taking on Collingwood at the MCG while Brisbane travel to face the Sydney Swans.

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