FORMER Wimmera footballer Michael Close claimed his second premiership in as many weeks on Saturday when the Brisbane Lions reserves team took out the North East Australian Football League grand final.
The Lions beat the Sydney Swans reserves represented by fellow Wimmera footballer Jake Lloyd by eight points at Aspley, 12.9 (81) to 10.13 (73).
Close and Lloyd went head-to-head after their sides won their respective conference flags the previous week.
The Lions got off to a strong start in the cross conference championship, claiming a 19-point lead by the first break.
The Swans fought back in the second term, kicking 3.4 and restricting the Lions to a single behind.
The third quarter was hotly contested early before the momentum swung the Lions' way.
Close booted the first of four Brisbane goals late in the quarter, which gave the home side an eight-point buffer at the final change.
Sydney came out firing in the last quarter with a quick goal to Yarren Jaffer-Williams, which reduced the margin to two points.
The Swans continued to battle, but quick goals to Close and Sam Michael helped seal Brisbane's victory.
Close finished with three majors for the match and was named in the best alongside Jesse O'Brien and Jack Crisp.
Lloyd continued his outstanding form for the season and was again among the Swans' strongest contributors.
The former Horsham Demon was also a standout in the Swans' Eastern Conference decider and was selected as a defender in the NEAFL Eastern Conference team of the year.