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UNDER the sparkling night lights on an ideal Traralgon surface, Sale steadied during the middle stages of the match to record its second victory of the Gippsland League football season.
The Magpies came home with a gutsy 22-victory for the previously undefeated Maroons, 13.14 (92) to 9.16 (70).
With Traralgon dominating the early play, Sale had to fight to stay in the match during the first quarter.
With slick ball movement and the Maroons’ outside players running hard, Jamie Sweeney was strong in defence as the Magpies steadied through Jarrod Freeman, who kicked two goals, one courtesy of a 50 metre penalty, to help the visitors lead narrowly by two points at quarter-time.
An injury to John Gooch early in the first term was stretching the Sale rotations and as Traralgon continued to press hard, the Magpies’ long ineffective kicks out of defence played into the Maroons’ hands. Two late Sale goals from Jack Lipman and Jack Mapleson, via a free kick for a dangerous tackle, managed to hold the Maroons’ lead, as the Magpies entered the main break nine points down.
The third quarter saw Sale turn the corner, effectively shutting down the Maroons’ run and taking advantage of Lipman’s dominance in the ruck. The Magpies looked dangerous one-on-one in their front half and began to isolate their forwards.
With strong marking, Brad Dessent slotted three goals for the quarter to give the Magpies the advantage, as they kicked six goals to one, opening up a 23-point lead at the final break.
With the dew settling, greasy ground conditions prevailed.
The Magpies gave away some cheap free kicks which gifted the Maroons forward opportunities.
The feeling that the Maroons could edge their way back into the contest grew, but with a tight goal to Adam Wallace, the Magpies stemmed the comeback. From this point, the Magpies controlled the final quarter to finish 22-point victors in a fast, high quality game of football.
The Magpies’ composure and maturity was the main factor in their controlling of the second half.
Individually, Lipman continued his good form dominating in the ruck, while the Dowse twins, Mitch and Nic, were strong in the contest. Kane Martin and Brad McKay were clean with ball in hand. Sweeney was strong in defence with Brad Dessent the most dangerous forward, kicking four goals, and Freeman three.
Sale is one of six teams with two wins from three starts.
Moe wins milestone match
MOE won at Warragul by 58 points.
The Lions led by 26 points at quarter-time before kicking five unanswered goals in the final term to win 15.10 (100) to 5.12 (42).
The Gulls will be ruing missed opportunities, particularly during the third term, when they had more of the ball.
Ash Dugan kicked five goals for the Lions and Scott Van Dyk four, while Charlie Rienets was strong a full back.
Jake Horstman stood-out for the Gulls in the ruck.
The match was the 200th between the clubs in organised competition. The Lions have now won 89 matches since their first meeting in 1909, while the Gulls have won 108, with three draws.
LEONGATHA kept Morwell goal-less in the first half on its way to a 95-point victory at home.
The Parrots won 19.12 (126) to 4.7 (31) to move into second spot on the ladder.
Chris Dunne kicked six goals in a best-on-ground performance for the Parrots.
The Tigers narrowly out-scored the Parrots in the final term to avoid a triple-figure drubbing.
BAIRNSDALE powered away from Drouin after quarter-time to defeat the Hawks by 87 points at home.
After leading by two points at the first change, the Redlegs added 20 goals to seven to win 23.17 (155) to 10.8 (68).
Simon Deery led a strong Bairnsdale defence, while Nick Sing was effective in the midfield.
Rowan Cowan kicked five goals, with four each from Josh Kiss and Brayden McCarrey.
Ed Morris kicked three goals for the Hawks.
— with David Braithwaite