MAFFRA will this Sunday host a Bairnsdale side buoyed by its best performance in more than a month.
A goal after the siren denied the Redlegs their first win since June 9 when they drew with Morwell.
The result may be a sign the Redlegs are starting to gel under new coach Mel George and may finish well a disappointing season which began promisingly after victories over Morwell and Traralgon.
The Eagles did well against Leongatha, matching it with one of this season’s premiership favourites. The Parrots’ five-goal to one third term was the difference as the home side won by 17 points.
The Eagles were able to match the Parrots strong midfield, but found their defence stretched.
The draw and Maffra’s loss puts the Eagles only two points ahead of Morwell in third place. With only two points between them, the Eagles’ vastly superior percentage now won’t become a factor if they battle the Tigers for third spot and the prized double chance during the finals.
Maffra needs to win this weekend and the next against Moe to keep its chances for the double chance alive, with games against Sale, Wonthaggi and Traralgon running into the finals.
AT Traralgon tomorrow, Sale can give the Maroons’ finals aspirations a set-back.
A win and percentage ahead of sixth-placed Wonthaggi, the Maroons face the toughest run into the finals with the Sale match followed by a vital clash against the Power before meeting Morwell and Maffra.
The Maroons have dominated teams below them, most recently against Moe, but need to lift against teams above them. They were able to defeat the Lions by 84 points despite the absence of key players Dan McKenna, Jackson Hall, Sam Dunbar and Jordan Symons.
A first quarter blitz set-up Sale’s 87-point win at home against Wonthaggi to maintain its lead on top of the ladder.
The Magpies will be missing midfielder Luke Collins, who is in Wagga Wagga with the VCFL team, but welcome back Ryan Pendlebury after he played in the VCFL under 19 team.
The Magpies would enjoy the break during the first half of the split round more on the back of victory against one of their most fiercest rivals.
In round five, Sale kept the Maroons to their lowest score against the Magpies in 40 years.
IN other Gippsland League matches tomorrow, Warragul faces another challenge at home against Leongatha, and Wonthaggi will be at home against Drouin. Morwell will be hoping to rectify its issues against teams lower on the ladder when it hosts Moe on Sunday.’
For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.