Brereton gives Magpie faithful hope for finals
From BERNIE SLATTERY in Melbourne
FADING Australian Football League superstar Dermott Brereton produced his vintage best to take Collingwood to an upset four-point win over finals certainties Geelong at the MCG yesterday.
Previously plagued by injury, suspensions and poor form, Brereton silenced the knockers with a splendid five-goal performance.
Two brilliant marks in the last term turned the tide for the Magpies after Geelong led by three points at three-quarter time.
The ninth-placed Magpies won 15.9 (99) to 14.11 (95) to keep alive the finals hopes of their exasperated fans. However, they come up against the in-form Essendon next Saturday in what should draw a capacity crowd at the MCG.
In one of this season's best contests, the lead see-sawed throughout as both sides hit the ball with relentless aggression.
Collingwood captain Gavin Brown repeatedly cleared with precision from defence and Saverio Rocca combined well with Brereton to notch four goals.
Geelong's best were Tim McGrath, who revelled in a move to the forward line, ruck-rover Gary Hocking, who sparkled in mid-field, and the brilliant Gary Ablett (six goals), who remains on target for 150 goals this season.
CARLTON'S depth of talent was on show yesterday with 11 goal-scorers in their comfortable 25 point win over Footscray at Princes Park.
With full-forward and captain Stephen Kernahan out injured, centre half-forward Earl Spalding (one goal) had a helping hand in goals to Brett Heaver (2), Anthony Koutoufides (2), Fraser Brown (2) and James Cook (2).
Carlton led at every change and although Footscray edged to within three points in the third term, the Blues accelerated away to win 15.16 (106) to 11.15 (81) and stay 21/2 games clear of Richmond on top of the ladder.
IT was a drought-breaking weekend for two of the AFL's interstate teams with Adelaide ending a 698-day spell without a win in Melbourne and Brisbane winning their second away game in a row - the first time they had done so since 1987.
Tenth-placed Adelaide's 14.14 (98) to 10.8 (68) win over St Kilda at Waverley on Saturday was their first win in Melbourne since the 1993 qualifying final against Hawthorn.
Meanwhile, Brisbane defeated the Swans 19.12 (126) to 17.9 (111) in Sydney yesterday, the first time the Bears had won two away games on the trot since their opening two games in the AFL, against North Melbourne and Geelong.