Magpies fight for win

RELATED: Maffra wins under lights

SALE opened its Gippsland League football campaign with a fighting 21-point win over Traralgon.

The Magpies played their best football during the final term, kicking six goals to two on their way to a 14.18 (102) to 12.9 (81) victory at home on Saturday.

Although the Magpies were a little underdone with pre-season games, they had plenty of motivation for a first up win with the players wearing black armbands in memory of club legend Rob Foster, who died recently.

The Magpies were also trying to retain the Peter Hug Memorial Trophy.

The third motivator was the 200-game milestone of Chris Laverty, who played his usual consistent game in defence.

The Magpies’ opening game line-up was full of surprises with former St Kilda player Jason Gram back at Sale Oval, where it all began as an outstanding junior. Gram, who played up forward, chipped in with two goals.

Tom Hams, who has been doing well with Bendigo in the VFL, line-up in the centre and got the nod as the Magpies’ best-on-ground.

The Magpies’ future was also on display with young talent like Nick Mason, Adam Wallace, Nash Holmes, Jayden Allison and Josh Woods enjoying their chance at senior level.

When the game was there to be won, the Magpies stood up, showing great fighting qualities against a Maroons side which was coming off a pre-season win against Pakenham.

Jack Lipman ruck well, setting things up for Kane Martin, Hams and Wallace, while John Gooch made a welcome return with this strength and ability to bust open the packs setting up things for the runners.

During the final term, defenders Shane Fyfe, Andrew Quirk, Michael Walsh and Laverty kept rebounding the ball. Martin, with long kicks, found Matt Ferguson on the lead for vital goals.

Sale was beginning to play similar football which helped it string together wins last season.

Ferguson was good up forward, with three goals from seven shots.

Tim Northe was Traralgon’s best player, while Tim Johnston and Michael Geary kicked seven goals between them.

MORWELL began it premiership defence with victory against Wonthaggi.

After inaccurate kicking for goal, the Tigers only led by nine points at half-time before booting 11 goals to three after the main break to win 15.11 (101) to 6.12 (48).

The Tigers were led by Ben Kearns and Ash Close, who kicked four and three goals respectively in their first games for the club, while Dean MacDonald also booted three.

Adam Lindsay and Jack Blair were the Power’s best.

BAIRNSDALE returned from Leongatha with a 31-point win on Saturday night.

After trailing by a point at quarter-time, the Redlegs kicked three unanswered goals in the second term. That proved to be the difference as the visitors won 9.20 (74) to 6.7 (43).

Stephen Henshaw and Luke Dyer were the Redlegs’ better players with James Gibbs kicking four goals.

Chris Bruns was the Parrots’ best.

WARRAGUL powered away in the second half to defeat Drouin by 40 points on Sunday.

The Gulls led by six points at half-time, a margin which could have been greater if not for inaccurate kicking for goal. The visitors then booted seven goals to two in the second half to win 11.16 (82) to 6.6 (42).

Tom and Chris Carey provided the spark in attack for the Gulls, while Brad Scalzo provided run in the midfield.

Keegan Bott was the Hawk’s best player.