Whitten's dying wish is granted
in MelbourneSACKED Australian Football League coach Bernie Quinlan will return to his first club to help Footscray fulfil a dying wish from their greatest player Ted Whitten. Quinlan, who was sacked by Fitzroy last Tuesday after the Lions' 126 point belting by Sydney, will finish the 1995 season with the Bulldogs as a goal-kicking specialist coach. Quinlan played with Footscray before moving in 1981 to Fitzroy where he won a Brownlow Medal. But Whitten's death on Thursday failed to provide the motivation on the field yesterday when the Bulldogs lost in Perth to Fremantle, 17.14 (116) to 12.13 (85).
Footscray coach Alan Joyce revealed at the weekend that Whitten, who died of cancer, had pleaded for the Bulldogs to finish the season with a 'significant contribution in the finals'. Footscray are seventh on the ladder with a two-point buffer over Melbourne and Collingwood. A State funeral will be held for Whitten, 62, at Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral tomorrow and will be seen live on television throughout Victoria.
Pacesetting Carlton blasted North Melbourne from from the outset for a 19 point win at Princes Park.
Defender Stephen Silvagni eclipsed the Kangaroo's star forward Wayne Carey as the Blues raced to a 33-point first quarter lead.
The 18.14 (122) to 15.13 (103) win was the Blues 11th on the trot.
Beaten Grand Finalists last season, Geelong, maintained their good recent form with an easy 15.16 (106) to 8.17 (65) win over bottom-placed Fitzroy.
Collingwood scraped home by three points in the last seconds against Hawthorn at the MCG on Friday.
The Magpies could have lost the game when Hawthorn's full-forward Jason Dunstall marked within kicking range but it was deemed to have been taken after the siren sounded.
The 15.14 (104) to 15.11 (101) win was built largely on the early efforts of four-goal spearhead Sav Rocca, and the wiles of veteran forward Dermott Brereton who kicked three goals.
After trailing the lowly Saints in the first half, Essendon clicked into gear with an eight-goal final term to win 23.13 (151) to 10.15 (75).
Sydney maintained a late-season winning streak by humbling Adelaide 22.7 (139) to 13.15 (93) in front of 38,000 dejected Crows fans. Reigning premiers West Coast performed at top level to make eighth-placed Melbourne look also-rans at the MCG on Saturday. Melbourne had an amazing 94 more possessions than the visitors, but squandered the advantage with indifferent foot passing and handballs, losing 16.8 (104) to 10.15 (75). Brisbane produced the upset of the round when they hammered Richmond by 77 points at The Gabba. From a superb running, point-blank goal by the classy Michael Voss, 19 seconds into the game, Brisbane led the Tigers all day for a 24.6 (160) to 13.5 (83) win.