VERY much an outside chance of making the Gippsland League football finals, Sale faces an imposing challenge at Leongatha on Saturday.
The Magpies have moved into eighth place on the ladder after three consecutive victories.
The Magpies are still 10 points outside the top five, meaning to make the finals, they must win their remaining three matches and hope other results go their way.
Last weekend at home, the Magpies weathered a final term comeback from Moe to win by 11 points.
Midfielders Michael Todd and Kane Martin has been integral to Sale’s resurgence, but will be tested by the Parrots tomorrow.
Jordan Dessent has created chances in attack, and has kicked three goals in the each of the past two games.
The Magpies will take on the ladder leading Leongatha, who has won its past six matches. The Parrots are coming off a 105-point belting of bottom-placed Drouin.
Forward Cameron Stone has been the Parrots’ best player the past two games, while the side boasts plenty of attacking firepower the Sale defence will need to curtail.
The Parrots are on track to claim a third successive minor premiership. They are on top of the ladder, ahead of Maffra by 20 percentage points.
While the Parrots have won their past four matches against Sale, they will be loathe to underestimate the Magpies.
In round seven at Sale, the Magpies stayed with the Parrots for three quarters before the visitors edged away in the final term to win by 30 points.
Of the 111 games they have contested since 1969, Sale has a one-win advantage over the Parrots.
Maffra at Moe
MAFFRA will head to Moe to take on the wounded Lions.
Moe missed the chance to move into third place on the ladder after losing at Sale last weekend. Trailing by 37 points at three-quarter-time, the Lions, with the advantage of the breeze in the final term, got to within six points, but conceded a late goal to lose by 11.
Victory on Saturday will boost the Lions’ chances of moving into the top three, while the match will be vital if Maffra hopes to supplant Leongatha at the top of the ladder.
The Eagles are enjoying a nine-game winning run, last weekend outclassing third-placed Traralgon by 59 points.
Mitch Bennett booted three goals to move to the top of the league goal kicking list. Best-on-ground Danny Butcher also kicked three majors, and will be a player in the midfield the Lions need to stop tomorrow.
The Eagles have won their past 11 matches against the Lions, but that winning streak almost came to an end when the sides met in Maffra earlier this year. Trailing by 15 points at the final change, the Eagles added four goals to one to win by only three points.
MORWELL can take a big step towards securing a finals berth with victory over Wonthaggi.
The Tigers are in fifth place, six points ahead of the Power and Warragul.
The Tigers returned to the winners’ list last weekend, overcoming Bairnsdale by 21 points.
The Power lost at Warragul by 42 points, only kicking two goals over the first three quarters.
TRARALGON will be looking to avenge its loss to Bairnsdale earlier this season.
In round seven, the Redlegs won by a point, breaking a run of nine consecutive defeats against the Maroons.
Now out of the finals race, ninth-placed Bairnsdale will be chasing its first win at Traralgon since 1983, having lost its past 21 games there.
With Moe breathing down its neck, the Maroons’ hopes of finishing in the top three will be boosted with victory.
RIVALS Drouin and Warragul clash for possibly the last time on Sunday, with the Hawks looking at moving to the West Gippsland competition next year.
The Hawks are still chasing their first win of the season, the seventh-placed Gulls are focused on keeping their finals hopes alive.
In round seven at Warragul, the Gulls won by 103 points, but the Hawks have improved during the second half of the season, despite the wins not being there.