Big boost for Magpies

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SALE improved its chances of playing in the Gippsland League football finals with a 33-point win over fourth-placed Wonthaggi.

In what was one of their best wins for the season, the Magpies handled the wet conditions at Sale Oval better in the second half to win 13.9 (87) to 7.12 (54).

The Magpies led by six points after an eventful first half, with the match looking set to develop into another Sale and Wonthaggi thriller.

But the home side had other ideas, as the Magpies kicked five goals to one in a brilliant third term of football to set-up the win.

Despite the rain, Sale’s ball handling and skill level remained at a high standard throughout the match.

Jack Lipman was the Magpies’ best player, while ruck partner and coach Travis Ronaldson also played a big hand in getting the ball to the numerous Sale runners at ground level.

Kane Martin, Tye Morrison, Tom Hams, Will Stephenson and Bodhi Walker all made good use of the opportunities they were provided with up forward.

John Gooch booted four goals and proved a real headache for the Wonthaggi defenders. His ability to not only hit the scoreboard but to also create opportunities for his fellow forwards made a big difference.

Martin and 16-year-old sensation Stephenson both kicked two goals each, with the youngster’s tackling and forward pressure setting up one of his goals and providing a lift for his older teammates.

The reorganised defence, led by the consistent Joel Wallace, stood-up well under pressure, talking several key marks in the second half as the Power tried to get back into the game. Sale’s back six shared the work load among them in the absence of Shane Fyfe and Jordan Dessent, with Wallace receiving plenty of assistance from the Mason brothers, Andrew Quirk and Chris Laverty.