SALE will head to Bairnsdale this Sunday for the first half of Gippsland League football’s split round.
The Magpies are coming into the clash off two wins, but will meet a Bairnsdale side fighting to remain in finals contention.
The Redlegs would have walked off the Traralgon Recreation Reserve after their 44-point loss thinking their finals hopes were in tatters, but news of Wonthaggi’s loss to Warragul would have provided some consolation.
The Redlegs are still only a win and percentage behind the fifth-placed Wonthaggi, but another big loss would put to rest any realistic hopes of playing beyond round 18.
Since it re-entered the league in 2011, Bairnsdale has had a shocking record against Sale. Three of the five losses have been by 140, 176 and 151 points.
After being well-beaten in all four quarters by Traralgon, the Redlegs will look to be at least competitive, but there are doubts on the fitness of ruckman Sam Nickless, half-back Stephen Henshaw and captain James Gibbs.
Based on their current form, the ladder leading Magpies should post another comfortable victory.
Despite missing coach Matt Ferguson and Jordan Dessent to injury and Jacob Schuback and Ryan Pendlebury being unavailable, the Magpies last weekend scored a percentage boosting 157-point win against Moe. They kicked 11 goals to one in the first term and never looked back.
Wonthaggi needs win
WONTHAGGI will be looking to get its season back on track when it travels to Moe.
After getting as high as second place, the Power has lost its past four matches and has fallen to fifth.
Injuries to key players, including a facial one which has ended Aaron Ware’s season, have not helped the Power’s cause.
The Power was set to return to the winners’ list last weekend at home against Warragul, gaining an early lead, but failed to kick another goal after quarter-time to lose by four points.
The Lions were never in the hunt at Sale, but they have been several goals better at home this season.
Giant killers meet
THE giant killers of recent weeks will meet tomorrow, with Leongatha hosting Warragul.
Wonthaggi last two defeats have come to these sides, while the Parrots have also defeated Maffra as they seek to get something positive out what has been a disappointing season.
Both sides will essentially be playing for pride.
NEXT weekend, Maffra will host Traralgon and Morwell will head to Drouin to complete the split round.