AFL: Callum Brown’s hat-trick for GWS Giants helps them to victory over Conor McKenna’s Brisbane Lions

Derry man takes bragging rights over Tyrone rival as Giants bounce back from defeat and pile the pressure on Lions

Callum Brown played a central role GWS Giants' AFL Finals win over Port Adelaide on Saturday
Callum Brown scored three goals for GWS Giants in their ANZAC Day win over Brisbane Lions

Three superb goals from Callum Brown won him the Cross-Sperrin bragging rights over Conor McKenna when the brilliant Greater Western Sydney Giants destroyed the Brisbane Lions 113-59 in today’s round seven AFL fixture at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

The ‘Orange Tsunami’ booted nine goals to one in a stunning second half display to move up to second on the season ladder on the traditional ANZAC (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps) Day public holiday in Australia.

Brown opened the scoring after marking inside the Giants forward 50m arc early in the first quarter and made no mistake from his set shot. The former Derry underage footballer kicked a second in similar style in the second term.

Midway through the third quarter, the Giants underscored their dominance when they moved the ball at lightning speed from deep inside their defensive 50m arc to Brown who was left unmarked inside their forward 50m arc. The Limavady man’s pinpoint handpass was collected by teammate Aaron Cadman who finished in style.

Brown booted his third goal of the game late in the quarter when his stunning long-range set shot drew the praises of AFL legend Luke Darcy from the television commentary box.

“Callum Brown is becoming an imposing presence in the GWS forward line,” Darcy said.

“What a bonus for GWS to get a Category B rookie who can kick like Brown.”

Brown, who boasts an impressive strike rate of 13-4 for the season (13 goals and 4 behinds), collected 10 disposals (5 kicks & 5 handballs), 3 marks, and 3 tackles.

Tyrone Sam Maguire winner Conor McKenna tried valiantly to get the Lions moving through the midfield but stagnant ball movement proved their undoing.

Conor McKenna played his first AFL Grand Final on Saturday
Conor McKenna played only his second game of the season for Brisbane Lions on Thursday

McKenna struggled with inaccurate kicking all night which is perhaps understandable given it was only his second game of the season and his first since March 17 when he broke down with a recurrence of a pre-season hamstring injury.

The Eglish star finished the four quarters with 17 disposals (15 kicks & 2 handballs), 4 marks, and 3 tackles.

The Lions finals hopes are now hanging by a thread. They have slumped to 12th on the season ladder with a dismal 2-5 win-loss record for the season.

Speaking post-match skipper Harris Andrews branded his side’s second half collapse as “unacceptable”.

Italian football legend Francesco Totti attended the game and was presented with a GWS shirt by Brown’s teammate Stephen Coniglio.