BRISBANE'S rise up the ladder has been cut short by Essendon, with Joe Daniher's career-best six goals stopping the Lions' run of successive wins at two.
Just five points separated the teams at the main break, but the Bombers, who have been struggling for goals, kicked the most of their 2015 campaign to run out 58-point winners, 21.10 (136) to 12.6 (78).
With the roof at Etihad Stadium open, players struggled with the sun at times, but Essendon showed plenty of attacking flair to boot 12 goals in the second half.
Daniher (pictured) took five marks inside-50 and enjoyed a breakout game.
The 21-year-old converted his first four shots in the first half before finishing with 6.2, kicking his sixth from a set shot tight on the boundary in the fourth quarter.
The Lions were right in the game in the first half, captain Tom Rockliff leading the way and livewire forward Josh Green showing plenty of spark in attack.
Bombers coach James Hird said he was pleased with his team's conversion-rate from Brisbane's turnovers, with 16 goals coming that way.
"To be able to score off turnovers and win the ball back off the opposition through pressure was really important for us," Hird said.
The Bombers' defence was outstanding, with Michael Hurley (22 possessions and seven rebound 50s), Cale Hooker (24 and five) and Michael Hibberd (26 and five) all having excellent games.
PORT Adelaide failed to send departing club champion Kane Cornes off on a high after suffering another defeat at home, this time to Richmond, last night, 5.13 (43) to 11.10 (76).
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