Sale’s danger game in Round 2 of GL

Zaida Glibanovic and Liam Durkin

SALE suddenly has a danger game in Round 2 of Gippsland League football.

The Magpies are home for the first time this season, but welcome a resurgent Warragul fresh off a statement-making victory against Wonthaggi.

The Guls went into their Round 1 clash long odds to beat a Power side that made the Grand Final last year, and had won 16 of its last 17 games.

Yet, as early season games often do, Warragul sprang the upset, and now, Sale could well have a fight on its hands.

While the Magpies will be favoured to win, they will be cautious of the Guls bringing added confidence with them from Western Park.

Sale may also be weary given what happened in the corresponding fixture last season, when they lost at home to Bairnsdale in a grinding Round 2 affair.

That loss stalled momentum for the Magpies, who ended up with a win-loss record of 1-4 after the first five games.

Granted Sale was able to recover from that position and go on to play finals, the poor start to the year meant they never really threatened for a double-chance.

Having won their opening round clash against Maffra, the Magpies will be eager to bank the four points tomorrow, and give themselves added insurance for later in the year.

Former Richmond player Derek Eggmolesse-Smith made his Sale debut last week, and the home crowd will get its first look at arguably the biggest recruit of the offseason.

Meanwhile, Maffra are on the road to Drouin.

Similar to Sale, the Eagles will want to erase memories of the last time they played the Hawks at Drouin.

Drouin recorded one of the more extraordinary wins last season, coming back from eight goals down at halftime against Maffra to pull off a heist for the ages.

Goal-scoring certainly wasn’t an issue for the Eagles in that game – they kicked 10 goals in the first quarter, although one suspects they will need to divvy up that total across at least two quarters and then add some more to put themselves in the most promising light tomorrow.

Familiar Maffra surnames were among the best last week, and even better for the Eagles – some were of the younger generation, including Jett Killoran.

With the Eagles in a second year of a rebuild, tomorrow presents a positive opportunity on two fronts: To win against a likeminded opponent, and getting more young players accustomed to strong winning habits.

Elsewhere, Traralgon and Moe will play under lights at Terry Hunter Oval. Bairnsdale travels to Morwell, and the Grand Final rematch between Wonthaggi and Leongatha takes place.

MINOR leagues also commence tomorrow.

Stratford is on the road to Paynesville, while Boisdale-Briagolong are home, taking on Lindenow in East Gippsland Football-Netball League action.

In the North Gippsland FNL, some new-look teams are opposed to each other in Sale City and Cowwarr, as both aim to get into finals contention with their host of new recruits.

Woodside journey’s to Tyers for the Grand Final rematch, and will be watched closely by Heyfield, who take on Rosedale.

There is free entry at Yarram Recreation Reserve tomorrow to see the Demons take on Churchill, while a little further into the bush, Gormandale and Glengarry lock horns in what could be one of the few winning opportunities for either team this season.

Yallourn Yallourn North has the bye.

NETBALL stakes will see Sale go head-to-head against an intimidating Warragul side.

The Magpies will have to bring out all the stops on their home court to try and defend the Gul’s, and more specifically, shooter Emma Ryde.

Ryde, who has played at Suncorp level, is expected to take the competition by storm this season.

Maffra won’t have any North Gippy fill-ins tomorrow.

The Eagles therefore might go into their match against Drouin undermanned, while conversely, the Hawks may welcome back Stacie Gardiner – an impact player who can dominate the court.

Maffra will have to conjure some magic to defeat a well-oiled Hawks side.

SALE CITY at home are expected to be a difficult task for Cowwarr.

The Saints haven’t really recruited, and the Bulldogs certainly have, bringing in Sale midcourter Isla McCarthy into the side to assist the talented Indigo Waugh.

Heyfield has gone unchanged into season 2024, and that consistency might be the key to success against a Rosedale outfit keen to return as league powerhouse.

Stratford will aim for back-to-back netball flags in East Gippsland, but can expect their arch-rival Boisdale-Briagolong to be up for the challenge.