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SALE won its way through the Gippsland League under 16 football second semi-final after defeating Moe in the qualifying on Saturday.
Following losses on Saturday, Sale’s reserves and under 18 teams will have to fight their way back through the first semi-finals next weekend, where they will be joined by Maffra’s under 16 team, which won its elimination final on Sunday.
The Sale under 16 team led an enthusiastic Moe team by seven points at half-time but lifted its game in the second half after a few well-chosen words from coach Andrew Dunkley. The Magpies went on to win 12.15 (87) to 2.9 (21).
Best in an even team performance were Lachie Ronchi in defence, Brandon Scott, who kicked five goals, Bailey Tatnel and Jesse Collins.
Sale will play minor premier Traralgon next Saturday for the first spot in the grand final, while Moe will play Maffra in the first semi-final on Sunday.
Maffra defeated Warragul in the elimination final, 9.10 (64) to 4.7 (31). A three-goal to one first term served the Eagles well before they gradually added to the margin.
Kade Renooy kicked six goals in a best-on-ground performance, while Andrew Cunningham and Brandon Rimington also contributed.
The Sale under 18 team began the qualifying final well against Bairnsdale, leading by 15 points at quarter-time, but the Redlegs fought back to win 8.8 (56) to 5.10 (40).
Sale’s best were Sam Tselespis and Sam Allen in defence, Evan Johnson on the wing, Jayden Allison in the centre and Mackenzie Bristow in the ruck.
In the first semi-final, the Magpies will play Wonthaggi, who defeated Drouin in the elimination final, 7.11 (53) to 6.7 (43).
In the reserves, Sale played well in the first half, leading by 21 points, but faded in the second, scoring only three points while the much fitter Warragul kicked away to win 6.10 (46) to 5.6 (36).
Stuart Taylor, Tim Hector and Tom Wilson were the Magpies’ best.
The Magpies will play in the first semi-final against Morwell, who defeated Traralgon 12.8 (80) to 6.9 (45) in the elimination final.