Dogs advance

Sale City coach David Piasente rose to the occasion and goaled to help the Bulldogs defeat Heyfield in the North Gippsland preliminary final. Photo: Michael Kent

Sale City coach David Piasente rose to the occasion and goaled to help the Bulldogs defeat Heyfield in the North Gippsland preliminary final. Photo: Michael Kent

SALE City kept its hopes of back-to-back North Gippsland football premierships alive, and in the process ended its run of three straight defeats to Heyfield.

The Bulldogs defeated the Kangaroos in Saturday's preliminary final at Churchill, 16.11 (107) to 10.8 (68), and will meet Yarram in the grand final this weekend.

The 39-point loss ended Heyfield's run of five consecutive grand final appearances. The last time an NGFNL grand final was played without Heyfield, Julia Gillard was prime minister, Ted Baillieu was premier and Hawthorn had yet to embark on its hat-trick of AFL premierships.

A telling aspect of the match was Sale City's ability to kick with the wind better than the Kangaroos. The Bulldogs were also harder at the ball and handled it better than their opponents.

Matt Ferguson kicked five goals for the Bulldogs, while coach David Piasente booted three.

Tom Bowman stood-out for the Bulldogs in defence, as did co-captain Ben Chivers. Justin McLay against provided a good run off half-back.

Brad McKay and Michael Walsh were also outstanding in the midfield.

The teams had kicked two goals each early in the first term before majors from Piasente, Rowan Bell and Ferguson gave the Bulldogs a 21-point advantage at quarter-time.

Ferguson kicked the first goal of the second quarter, but it took 13 minutes for the next goal to come from Bulldog teammate Stuart Buckley to take the lead out to 31 points.

The Kangaroos fought back in time-on with goals from Jesse Jackway, Kodie Woodland and Adrian Cox. At half-time, Sale City was 14 points ahead.

The margin to was extended to 22 points by three-quarter-time after the Bulldogs added four goals to three for the term.

The Bulldogs eliminated any hope the Kangaroos had to staging a final term comeback after Ferguson kicked the first two goals of the quarter, followed by one from Chivers midway through the term.

Sale City kicked five goals to two in the fourth quarter to seal victory, its first over the Kangaroos since last year's grand final.

Scott Anderson continued his solid end of season form for the Kangaroos in defence, working well with Nic Dowse.

Mark Johnson, Michael Coleman and James Beha were also among the Kangaroos' better players.

Nick Campbell was Heyfield's leading goal-kicker, with three.

GLENGARRY booked its spot in the reserves grand final with an eight-point victory over Heyfield.

The Magpies upset the Kangaroos 9.10 (64) to 8.8 (56). The Magpies led by three points at three-quarter-time before kicking three goals to two in the final term to consign the minor premiers to a "straight sets" exit from the finals.

The Magpies will play Traralgon-Tyers United in the grand final.

IN the thirds, Rosedale upset Sale City to set-up a grand final against Yarram.

The Bulldogs led after the first and second quarters, but the Blues kicked two goals to one in the third term to take a one-point advantage into the final quarter.

The Blues powered away, kicking five unanswered goals in the fourth term to win 9.8 (62) to 4.8 (32).

After going through the home-and-away season undefeated, the Bulldogs lost both their finals matches.

NGFNL grand final

Saturday at Traralgon:

Seniors: Yarram v Sale City, 2.30pm.

Reserves: Traralgon-Tyers United v Glengarry, noon.

Thirds: Yarram v Rosedale, 9.30am.

Gippsland Senior
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