An inspired second half performance from Leongatha has seen them fly straight through to their fourth consecutive Gippsland League grand final, with a strong 64-point win over Maffra on Saturday night.
It was a tale of two halves with Maffra jumping the gate early with a great starting goal to Mitchell Bennett. The footy was hot as it bounced between the 50 metre arcs for most of the quarter until Lachie Channing was able to put through the Eagles’ second. A mark to star forward Chris Dunne right on the brink of quarter time saw the Parrots finally get on the board and reduce the margin to eight-points at the first change.
Bennett again kicked things off for the Eagles with his second of the match as the Eagles were moving the ball well when going forward. The Parrots found their second when midfielder Ryan Olden guided one home, but it was almost immediately answered by that man Bennett who now had three goals still in the early stages of the second quarter. Jack Ginnane found a steadier for the Parrots not long after and it looked like the second semi-final was turning into a shootout. A t0p piece of work from Tom Marriott in the midfield resulted in Cade Maskell slotting a goal and all of a sudden it was back to just two points. But just as the Parrots were starting to look alive Thomas Jolly kicked a beauty on the run to give the Eagles a nine-point lead at half time.
It almost felt like a different Parrots team that ran out after half time and when Julian Lockwood nailed a set shot in the opening few minutes of the third term the wheels were starting to turn. Ginnane found his second as James Lloyd and Josh Hopkins all joined the scorers’ list as the Parrots really started to flex their muscles. Lockwood nailed his second to book end the third quarter and a five-goal run that saw the Parrots now lead by 22-points at three quarter time.
Picking up where they left off, Tom Marriott nailed a lengthy set shot in the opening minute of the last term and the Eagles heads began to drop. Dunne, Ginnane and Lloyd all added to their totals as young gun Sam Forrester also joined the party.
After half time the Parrots went on a 12-goal run to absolutely sink the ladder leaders and send a strong message that back to back flags may soon be a reality.
South Gippsland Sentinel Times



SALE’S quest for the Gippsland League football premiership is over, after they lost the first semi-final to Traralgon on Sunday by 10 points.

The Maroons won 10.7 (67) to 8.9 (57) at Maffra, and will play Maffra in the preliminary final.

The Magpies welcomed back three important players, leading forward John Gooch, strong bodied midfielder Adam Wallace and captain Kane Martin, who didn’t play in the qualifying final loss to Leongatha.

Windy conditions were exacerbated by the open Maffra ground. Traralgon was intent on playing numbers behind the ball, causing plenty of congestion in the Sale forward half.

With what has been a common theme for Sale at stages throughout the year, the chances created up the ground couldn’t be capitalised early on in the contest. The wind made it tricky for goal kicking.

The pressure of both teams was outstanding, players were putting their body on the line and showing great commitment to the cause.

Traralgon kicked the only goal for the quarter as the Magpies booted four points. The Maroons led by one goal at quarter-time.

A free kick courtesy of a dangerous tackle got Sale’s first goal, Jack Mapleson making easy work of the set shot. Sale kicked another shortly after, a strong clearance by Kane Martin found Mapleson who goaled on the run.

Sale was being bold with its ball movement and gaining reward as it looked to open up the angles against the Traralgon numbers. The Maroons were just managing to keep up with the Magpies, as Lee Stockdale kicked two very good goals.

Brad Dessent was getting involved, his strong mark from a long Jayden Allison kick and set shot got Sale its third goal.

A tough mark by Jackson Glenane in the middle resulted in run from behind by Brad McKay, who found Gooch, whose goal gave Sale the lead.

The Sale forward pressure resulted in a turnover before Glenane kicked a steadying goal which gave Sale an eight-point lead at the main break.

Sale began the third quarter well, but its avenues for goal dried up.

Laying multiple tackles and gaining plenty of advantage from the stoppages, the Magpies were about to crack the game open.

Ten minutes of play went where Sale was in control, but Traralgon would take the ball down and score with a bit more ease. A 50 metre penalty and injury to Jamie Sweeney gifted Traralgon its second and suddenly Sale’s good work was going without reward.

A strong spoil from Jordan Dowsett on the wing, saw him gather run and kick long to Dessent, whose left foot dribble kick was classy and put Sale within touch. A three-point advantage was the Magpies’ at three-quarter-time.

Stockdale continued to give the Magpies headaches, everything he touched turned to gold with his kicking in the conditions a highlight. The Maroons kicked the first two goals early, their run from behind leaving the Magpies reeling.

Sale wasn’t done though, bold play by Allison found the running McKay, his kick found Martin, who went back to McKay, who running goal from 35ms out gave the Magpies a real chance.

Brad Dessent took another strong mark, his set shot went through. Suddenly, the Magpies had the momentum and, with a couple of minutes, left a genuine opportunity to win.

Stockdale again stood-up, a clever mark and shot for goal from a tight angle for the Maroons sealed the victory.

The Magpies ran out of time as Traralgon won by 10 points.

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Sam Anstee - Gippsland Times


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Maffra v Leongatha match review from article published by the South Gippsland Sentinel Times. To view original article in full online subscribe to South Gippsland Sentinel Times here https://subscribe.realviewtechnologies.com/global/subscribe/rvportal/subscribe.aspx?cpid=14264

Sale v Traralgon match review written by Sam Anstee reporting for Gippsland Times. To view original article in full visit http://www.gippslandtimes.com.au/story/5637010/sale-succumbs-to-maroons/?cs=1576

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