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SALE maintained its hold on top spot on the Gippsland League football ladder after an 11-point win at Leongatha on Saturday.
The 14.10 (94) to 13.5 (83) victory was Sale’s first win at Leongatha since 2014, and ended the Parrots’ run of eight consecutive wins over the Magpies.
Jack McLaren was outstanding for the Magpies in attack, while Brad Dessent kicked five goals.
Jack Lipman’s work in the ruck set up play in the centre and at stoppages for the likes of Mitch Dowse and Kane Martin. Martin and Tom Hams were welcome returns to the Sale line-up, providing much-needed experience and skill against the reigning premiers’ potent midfield.
Nic Dowse was strong in defence, also setting up attacks for the visitors.
The Magpies jumped out of the gates, kicking six goals to one to lead by 32 points at quarter-time.
The second term was a reverse of the first, as the Parrots fought back to be within three points at half-time.
Little separated the sides for the rest of the match, with the teams kicking four goals each in the third term, before the Magpies extended their edge with a five-goal to four fourth quarter.
Josh Schelling stood out for the Parrots in defence, while John Ginnane (five goals), Cameron Olden and Chris Verboon tested the Magpies’ back line.
Josh Hopkins and Josh Pellicano were strong in the midfield for Leongatha, which remains fourth on the ladder.
BAIRNSDALE dropped out of the top five after Wonthaggi rediscovered its winning form.
The Power ended a run of three loses by defeating the Redlegs at home, 10.12 (72) to 6.10 (46).
Wonthaggi led by a point at half-time, before kicking seven goals to three in the second half.
The Power moved into seventh place on the ladder, trailing the sixth-placed Redlegs on percentage.
Troy Harley kicked four goals in a best-on-ground performance for the Power.
DROUIN replaced Bairnsdale in fifth place on the ladder after an 18-point win at Morwell.
The Hawks led at each break to win 13.15 (93) to 10.15 (75).
Eddie Morris was pivotal in attack for Drouin, while Bailey Beck kicked three goals.
TRARALGON moved off the foot of the ladder after recording its second win of the season.
The Maroons won at Warragul, 15.11 (101) to 6.4 (40), pushing the Gulls back to the bottom of the ladder.
Leading by seven points at quarter-time, the Maroons set up their victory with a four-goal to one second term to take a 27-point lead into half-time.
The visitors added nine goals to four in the second half to win by 61 points.
Mark Collison and Jackson Hall led the way for the Maroons. Matt Rennie kicked four goals for the Gulls.