Disregard the grade, it is still a Maffra versus Sale preliminary final – and it’s at Sale Oval.

The Eagles and Magpies will face off in the reserves tomorrow for a spot in this year’s Grand Final.

The contest is a rematch of last year’s preliminary final, which Sale won by 11 points.

Wild scenes erupted on the final siren then, and expect more of the same if the Magpies get up on their home deck tomorrow.

Similar to last season, Sale has had to come from outside the top three to go deep into September this year.

Where things are slightly different though is the fact the Magpie’s seniors aren’t still playing finals, having been eliminated in the first week.

While Sale would dearly love to have both teams fighting for a place in the Grand Final, the Magpies reserves have benefitted by way of a few players with senior experience now becoming available to play in the early game.

In last week’s semi-final win over Traralgon, young guns Harry Tatterson and Tom Wrigglesworth suited up for the seconds, as did strong rebounding defender Jordan Burke.

Sale was without key forward Bohdi Walker, leaving most of the scoring to Liam Place, who nailed three goals.

Maffra too was without key forward Jesse Oldham, who led the reserves league goal-kicking this season with 51 majors.

Oldham played the qualifying final, which the Eagles won in extra time, but his absence was felt in last week’s semi-final loss against Leongatha, a game that saws Maffra register just three goals from as many scoring shots.

Sale will be cautiously optimistic Maffra hasn’t been overly high scoring this season – it’s percentage of 162.33 was the lowest of any side to make finals.

The Magpies also take very strong form in, having won an amazing 14 of their last 15 games. Even more amazing when you consider the Magpies dropped their first five games.

The first five weeks of the season coincided with a tricky time for Sale, as mass unavailability stretched resources thin. The Magpies however have been able to methodically add to their wins column, and welcome players back at a time when it matters most.

An extra day’s break may help Maffra, as will the finals experience of those who have been around the scene for a while in Bill Pleming, Sam Walker, Jordan Stubbe, Daniel ‘Digga’ Stubbe and Kal Killoran.

The Eagles have been somewhat methodical as well in getting players qualified. Daniel Stubbe played just the five regular season games, but that is enough to see him pull on the red and black for finals.

Maffra has been a powerhouse of Gippsland League reserves football in the last decade, never reaching anything lower than a preliminary final since 2014.

Pleming wouldn’t have played in too many losses in that time, and his battle with Sale ruckman Zak Russell tomorrow looms as a key contest.

Those at their feet carry no shortage of senior quality, with Sale senior games record holder Chris Laverty in the mix, and Walker having played in five senior premierships.

The winner will advance to play Leongatha, who are out to make it back-to-back reserves flags.

Don’t know how I’d go playing a twos final for Sale on the same day Moe are playing in the seniors.