KEEN to avenge its five-point round six loss at Morwell, Sale dominated its clash against the Tigers at home on Saturday, but let the visitors off the hook with its kicking for goal.
The Magpies kicked 13.25 (103) to 6.7 (43) to maintain a four-point lead on top of the Gippsland League ladder.
In between missed point-blank range, the Magpies nailed a few goals from tight angles in the gusty wind which made goals difficult to kick at the hospital end.
After scoring four points into the breeze in the first quarter, the Magpies hit back with 6.6 in the second, while the Tigers failed to score.
Breakaway defender Ryan Pendlebury kicked the first goal for the Magpies after gaining possession on the wing. Pendlebury took three bounces, steadied and goaled from the past players’ hill boundary line.
Rover Kane Martin, who had another big day, goaled from a similar spot in the final quarter with his long shot clearing the pack and sailing through.
An indication of the Magpies’ struggle was evident in the final term when young talent Josh Dunkley flew high for a great pack mark then kicked a point from 30 metres out. Shortly after, Justin Mitrevski pulled down another strong mark and added to the Magpies’ misses from close as the home side finished the term with 4.9.
The gusty conditions did not affect the Magpies’ field kicking, with their long range passes continually finding targets. Their change of direction and finding unguarded teammates was a feature of their play.
Forward Matt Ferguson, with quick leads, made good position to pick up passes, finishing with four goals. John Gooch, strong up forward, and Martin kicked two goals each.
In the ruck, Jack Lipman and Dylan McLaren set things up for onballers Martin, Luke Collins, Corey Scholtes and Lachie Todd.
The back six was hard to get past with Pendlebury, Chris Laverty and Shane Fyfe leading the way.
Once again, the Magpies’ team play and total player involvement was a feature of their 60-point win.
Defender Michael P. Duncan was Morwell’s best with Michael J. Duncan kicking four goals, Jeff Ryan was good on the ball and the Bailey boys, Boyd and Brandon, also worked hard.
The Sale reserves fought hard to hold their double chance third spot by defeating Morwell by 50 points with Kieran O’Dwyer kicking four goals.
The Magpies’ under 18 team is now three games clear of fifth spot after winning by 84 points. Luke Lange kicked five goals and Jarred Freeman four.
The Sale under 16 team, which is second on the ladder behind Traralgon on percentage, won by 21 with Nash Holmes booting four goals.
TRARALGON all-but secured its place in the finals with a 27-point win at Wonthaggi.
The fifth-placed Maroons are now two wins and a sizeable percentage ahead of the Power in sixth with three rounds remaining.
The Maroons trailed by four points at half-time before kicking eight goals to two in the third term to set-up a 14.14 (98) to 10.11 (71) win.
Michael Geary was Traralgon’s best, while Dan McKenna booted six goals in his return to the side from injury. Aaron Ware was Wonthaggi’s best, kicking three goals.