Bulldogs bury hoodoo on Eagles' turf
From BERNIE SLATTERY in Melbourne
FOOTSCRAY registered their first win in Perth in eight attempts with a fighting 12.15 (87) to 8.13 (61) upset win over reigning premiers West Coast Eagles yesterday. The Bulldogs' victory was set up by a late three-goal burst in the third term, giving them a 17-point lead at the last change, which they defended grimly. Rover Tony Liberatore was inspirational while Richard Osborne booted five goals. The win hoisted Footscray into the top eight.
In another boilover, gritty St Kilda downed the fancied Geelong 13.15 (93) to 13.7 (85) at Waverley Park. With brilliant midfielders Nicky Winmar and Robert Harvey firing, Saints stormed to the lead in the second term and repelled a desperate Geelong which got to within one point with minutes to go. Rangy ruckman Lazar Vidovic eclipsed Geelong's big star John Barnes and powerful forward Stewart Loewe chipped in with five emphatic goals.
Geelong's superstar Gary Ablett maintained his goal-scoring average of six to be the Cats' best while half-back Tim McGrath and half-forward Bill Brownless were the best of the rest. Meanwhile, finals aspirants Richmond have landed a change of luck with the return from injury of brilliant centreman Matthew Knights for next weekend's crucial clash in Perth against Fremantle.
The dashing Knight's presence will help shorten a horror list of injuries for the second-placed Tigers. Richmond lost two key players, Michael Gale and Stuart Maxfield, with serious long-term injuries in a fighting draw against Essendon on Friday night. Top side Carlton stirred from a mid-game slumber at home to bang on eight goals in 15 minutes and run out 33-point winners over Adelaide. The Blues looked set for an upset loss against the out-of-form Crows when they trailed by 29 points early in the third quarter. But four goals in as many minutes slashed the deficit to just five points and the Blues slipped into top gear to cruise away for a 20.13 (133) to 15.10 (100) win.