SALE United emerged a winner from round 22 of the Gippsland Soccer League without even taking to the field.
The Swans had the bye, but remain only four points behind ladder leader Falcons. The Birds missed a chance to extend their lead after losing 3-1 to third-placed Moe United.
With Falcons still to have its second and final bye of the season and the top two sides to meet in round 24 at Sale, the Swans can claim the silverware if they win their remaining four matches.
On Sunday at Moe, the Red Devils scored two first half goals to put Falcons on the back foot. While both sides scored a goal in the second half, the home side hung on to boot its own premiership hopes.
The Red Devils trail Falcons on the ladder by seven points.
Nick Dastey, Matt Shearing and Joel Baldwin scored for the Red Devils, while DJ Matar scored for Falcons.
Falcons’ first loss for the season, the result was the first time it dropped points since a draw with Fortuna in round 5.
FOURTH-placed Newborough-Yallourn United defeated Churchill United 1-0 with goal from Mark Fairbrother just before half-time.
FORTUNA strengthened its hold on fifth place with an 8-0 thumping of Trafalgar Victory. Hayden Tanti and Ivan Vekic each scored a brace.
MONASH moved level on points with seventh-placed Churchill with a 4-0 win over East Gippsland United.
NINTH-placed Tyers increased the gap to Traralgon City in 10th with 2-0 win over the Roosters. After going through 2014 without a win, the Lightning has seven wins this season.
OLYMPIANS defeated an improved Morwell Pegasus 4-2.
SALE United will return to action this Sunday against Pegasus in Morwell.
Also this Sunday, Newborough-Yallourn will host Monash, Moe will head to East Gippsland, Falcons will meet Olympians in Traralgon, Fortuna will host Tyers and Traralgon City will welcome Churchill.
Trafalgar will have the bye.
THREE Sale United teams will be playing in junior semi-finals on Saturday.
In the under 16 boys’ quarter-finals, Sale White defeated Traralgon City Black 2-0 with goals from Dyson Hadden and Taylor Campbell. The team will play Fortuna on Saturday at Crinigan Road South Reserve in Morwell from 2pm.
Sale Green’s season came to an end with a 6-1 loss to Moe. Josh Ryan scored Green’s goal.
Sale’s under 12 boys’ team defeated Moe 6-0 with goals from Sakhon Khamchom, Luke Williams and Ben Manning. Sale will take on East Gippsland Blue at West Bairnsdale Oval from 11am.
The Sale under 13 girls advanced after a Falcons forfeit, and will host Traralgon City Diamonds from 10am.