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SALE made it three consecutive wins with a 33-point victory over Morwell during round four of Gippsland League football.
The Magpies won at Morwell on Saturday 11.14 (80) to 6.11 (47).
The Magpies threatened at stages to blow the game wide open, but inaccurate kicking and untidy forward entries kept Morwell’s hopes alive.
With a couple of forced changes from last week’s victory against Traralgon, the Magpies introduced debutant Daine McGuiness, who moved well up forward.
The first goal came courtesy of Jack McLindin, but a late steadier to the Tigers had the visiting Magpies a goal in front at quarter-time.
Much like the first quarter, it wasn’t until the middle reaches of the second quarter that the Magpies could make use of their constant forward entries. Three goals came in seven minutes for the Magpies, but again Morwell’s slingshot play opened up forward opportunities.
In what was proving to be a lacklustre game, the Tigers steadied in the latter stages to reduce the margin at the main break to 15 points.
Despite close attention, Kane Martin began the third quarter on fire, kicking the first goal.
Corey Oliver, playing in his 50th game for the Magpies, ran into an open goal as the Magpies looked clearly on top, opening up a 26-point lead.
Brad Dessent was strong up forward, marking and leading strongly at every opportunity, but again poor kicking was costing the Magpies.
Morwell, through aggressive play, secured two late goals to reduce the margin to 15 points at the final break.
Despite the stillness of the wind and ideal ground conditions, both teams were inaccurate in the final quarter, with Morwell kicking four points and the Magpies five points to go with their three goals.
A strong mark out of defence by Jordan Dessent and smart play by Jarrod Freeman gave Brad McKay the opportunity to stop any chance of a Tiger comeback, the first of three goals for the Magpies sealed a 33-point victory.
The Magpies would be relieved to come away with the four points. Both the ground and team, Morwell, have been more than a stumbling block in the past.
Jack Lipman again showed why he is one of Gippsland League’s premier ruckmen, controlling the stoppages and giving first use to Jordan Dessent, Brad McKay and Kane Martin, who all had good games.
The Sale defence held tight and one-on-one proved to be sound, best-on-ground Mitch Thacker was strong over the football and composed with ball in hand, while Ollie Collins and Shane Fyfe controlled any loose Morwell defensive exits.
Up forward, Brad Dessent continued his strong form and if it wasn’t for his poor kicking, could have had a big bag of goals instead of one. Other multiple goal kickers were McKay, Martin and Freeman, all kicking two.
The win moved Sale to third position, giving them a game break over Leongatha, Bairnsdale, Warragul and Traralgon, while Morwell is the only side yet to register a victory this season.