LIKE a bag of Allen’s Party Mix, Round 15 had a bit of everything in the Gippsland League. There was a game decided by two points, a game decided by multiplying that amount by 70, and a game that couldn’t be decided at all.

SALE played like it was 2012 again.

The Magpies catapulted to second spot on the ladder after massacring Moe by 140 points at Sale Oval.

The Lions hadn’t won at Sale Oval since 2002, and it became clear early in the third quarter another year was going to be added to this drought.

Not long after the ball was held aloft to start the game, Sale had a goal on the board, the first of what ended up being a final scoreboard reading 26.16 (172) to 4.6 (30).

Moe showed some resistance in the first-half, and trailed by 41 points at the main break, before the wheels well and truly fell off.

Sale kicked eight goals to none in the third term, and then 10 goals to two in the last.

Truthfully, the Magpies treated the Lions as witches’ hats in the second half.

The word ‘clinical’ was probably the best description of how Sale went about its business, as they dominated possession and continually surged the ball forward.

The Magpies’ skill level and presence of mind was top shelf, to the extent they constantly seemed to be toying with their opponents. Ryan Pendlebury exemplified this, at times shaping to handball, only to then have acres of space in which to kick having sold the dummy.

Play-of-the-day resulted in a bizarre outcome, after a crafty handball from Jarrod Freeman in the forward pocket in front of the Past Players Hill, set up a path for Tom Campbell to snap the ball through. The only problem was the snap was called a behind, despite the fact the ball clearly went through for a goal.

For Moe, this was their only win for the day, and shaved five points off the final margin.

Campbell ended up being credited with five goals, while Jesse Collins, Jack McLaren and Shannen Lange each kicked three.

Moe’s plan to tag Lange backfired completely, as he was voted best-on-ground.

Collins and McLaren also played well, as did the Leslie brothers, Will and Jack, and Pat Tainsh.

For Moe, defender Brock Smith was kept busy, and battled manfully, while Scott Van Dyk, Ben Morrow, James Blaser, Ben Maslen and Grady Cocksedge did likewise.

Sale players Jayden Allison and Brad Dessent work together inside 50 during the Magpie’s huge win over Moe. Photo Zoe Askew.

If the scoreboard wasn’t a reflection of how one-sided the contest was, the sight of Moe players looking exhausted post-game, while one Sale player was heard to say they “didn’t even break into a sweat”, surely painted a clear picture.

Having put together as close to a complete performance as one would hope to see, Magpies’ coach Jack Johnstone was understandably pleased with how his side played.

“We knew that it was going to be tight early on, but if we kept our pressure up, eventually the game could blow out,” he said.

“Luckily the boys cashed in at the end and blew the margin out, which is a bit of reward for effort.

“You know what you are going to get out of your Shannen Langes and Jack Leslies, but Mitchy Bown and Cooper Whitehill, Jake Hutchins coming in off the back line, there is a lot of pressure from this young group, it has been nice to see the older guys take a step back.”

Following their huge win and other results falling their way, Sale now has a clear path to securing a double-chance, something Johnstone said the team was striving toward.

“We have to win these next three games, the Traralgon one especially (in Round 17),” he said.

“We would be disappointed if we didn’t get the top three, but at the end of the day we just want to keep winning games of footy.”

Arguably the biggest difference from Sale this season compared to their finals series squads of 2018 and 2019 is depth.

For the first time in close to a decade, the Magpies have healthy numbers and quality players running around in the early game.

There was some more than handy names on the Sale reserves team sheet at the weekend; names such as Shane Fyfe, Jamie Sweeney, Russell ‘Rusty’ McAdam and Mitch Thacker – all who have senior finals experience.

“We’ve had 42 blokes the last two Thursday nights, at the moment there is 14,15 guys missing out on reserves selection,” Johnstone said.

“That is a credit to Sam Anstee the footy director and Pete Morrow (Peter Morrison) the twos coach, that they have guys wanting to play at this club again.

“When you have both teams winning and looking like they are going to play finals it just adds that motivation to get more guys involved, and that is what is happening.”

Looking on from afar, it is clear a key focus for Sale this year has been to embrace and get as many people involved as possible.

Last Saturday, the Sale social rooms were packed, the senior team had no shortage of assistant coaches, and young kids proudly wore their Magpie colours, and lined the change rooms waiting for their senior heroes to exit the field after the match was done.

There is little doubt those kids will look up to the senior players and think ‘I want to be part of this one day’.

While the margin on the scoreboard may have stood out, the number of ‘Sale people’ mingling around the place was even more telling.

A club is nothing without its people after all.

MAFFRA pulled off a miracle.

The Eagles hit the lead right at the death against Morwell, and held on to win by three points 11.10 (76) to 9.19 (73).

The result had instant ramifications for both sides, with the visitors climbing back into the top five after their victory.

Had Morwell won, they would have gone two games clear into the top five, and Maffra’s season could have been effectively shot.

Instead, the Eagles live to fight another day.

For at least 90 per cent of the game, the Tigers looked to have the match won, however, poor conversion in front of goal allowed Maffra to stay in the contest.

By half-time, Morwell had registered 21 scoring shots to nine, but led by only 22 points.

A stalemate played out in the third, with both sides only managing one goal, with the Tigers ahead by 15 points heading into the last.

Tensions boiled over as teams made their way to their respective huddles, the fallout of which saw two very different outcomes.

From all reports, the quarrel fired Maffra up, while Morwell became slightly rattled.

The Eagles then kicked 4.3 (23) in the last term, and kept the Tigers to 1.3 (9) to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.

In the eyes of most, Maffra had no right to win the match, but the cool heads of Ed and Alex Carr, along with John Butcher (four goals), ensured the Eagles stayed composed during the frantic last few minutes.

Young gun Tom Jolly kicked five for the winners, while Jack Challands was voted best-on, and was closely followed by David Adams.

Tristen Waack continued his stellar form, and was best for Morwell. Others to play well were Archie Grant, Boyd Bailey, Brandon Mcauliffe, James Jacobsen and Tyler Brown.

SPECTATORS got their monies worth at Wonthaggi.

The Power played out a thrilling draw against Traralglon, as scores were deadlocked 62 apiece.

DROUIN celebrated a win for morale sake.

Making the never-easy trip to Bairnsdale, the Hawks got the points in a 14.14 (98) to 10.5 (65) contest.

The win puts Drouin equal on points with Bairnsdale in ninth, meaning the ‘race’ to avoid the wooden spoon is still on.

LEONGATHA maintained their unbeaten run, defeating Warragul 12.16 (88) to 3.7 (25).

With 21 consecutive wins, Leongatha holds the longest winning-streak out of any team in country Victoria.

Do you back Leongatha or the field for the premiership?