SALE recorded a 14-point victory to consolidate its hold on third spot on the Gippsland League football ladder.
Despite kicking their lowest score for the season — 9.14 (68) — the Magpies defeated the Hawks, who booted 7.12 (54).
Greeted by heavy ground conditions at Drouin on Saturday, the Magpies were forced to make a late change to the selected side, with Luke Williams being called up to Gippsland Power allowing Corey Oliver to return from injury.
The defensive unit looked different, for the first time in his coaching reign, Shane Fyfe looked on from afar as a precaution following a head knock last week. Under 18s captain Declan Barnett was picked to make his senior debut, while Zac Hurley was back to Power duties.
The Hawks began the game well, with their three scoring shots for the quarter all coming within the first 10 minutes.
Sale struggled to penetrate deep into its own forward line. It took the Magpies 17 minutes to kick their first goal, coming on the run from Jack McLindin.
Brad Dessent marked strongly, kicking truly from 20 metres out on a slight angle. The Magpies led by 14 points at quarter-time, with errant goal kicking preventing the margin being bigger.
Sale began the second term well, but was again let down by poor kicking for goal.
Brad Dessent’s strong marking up forward a highlight, his kicking for goal not. A Dessent did kick a goal, but it was Jordan, as both teams were missing opportunities.
The game was being played primarily between the arcs, with Drouin intent on kicking and running through the Sale press. Andrew Quirk was particularly strong dealing with any high balls from the Drouin midfielders, while his tackling was fantastic.
Sale led by 19 points at half-time, but Drouin was hopeful, sticking with the Magpies in general play.
The contest between Gippsland’s two premier ruckmen, Jack Lipman and Bob McCallum, was intriguing.
Drouin ruckman McCallum was a big contributor in the third term, as the Hawks kicked the first three goals to make it a one-point game.
Jayden Allison roved smartly to kick a left foot snap goal to provide the steadier Sale needed.
A long entry ended up in a few slick vhandballs, the ball coming back out of the Sale 50 and finding Allison, who found Freeman via a strong mark.
Freeman kicked truly as Sale sensing an opportunity to break the game open, however, the Magpies missed two opportunities.
Sale could not kick another goal, and was forced to defend hard for the final five minutes of the term, but the Hawks kicked another major to cut the Magpies’ lead to eight points at three-quarter-time.
Both teams were pushing hard in the final term, but the heavy ground conditions weren’t conducive to free-flowing football.
John Gooch was working hard, and had a hand in the first goal of the quarter, a long kick to advantage finding Brad Dessent, who kicked truly.
Drouin responded to bring it back to a one-goal margin, but Martin kicked the sealer for Sale.
Martin’s work rate and skills in the tough conditions was outstanding.
Gooch, who surprisingly didn’t kick a goal, was Sales link man, getting up and down the ground and jumping hard.
Andrew Quirk was fantastic in defence, denying many Drouin attacking opportunities.
Senior players Jamie Sweeney and Chris Laverty (who is now level with club senior games record holder Kane Fraser) were solid as always — their experience and communication was vital in the tough conditions.Sam Anstee
Misfired shots on goal did not upset the rhythm of defending premiers Leongatha as they marched to win number 12 of the season at the expense of Moe on Saturday, 9.21 (75) to 6.7 (43).
The Lions went with the Parrots until the main break and trailed by just three and two points at quarter and half-time, respectively.
Leongatha kicked into gear in the third with six goals while restricting the visitors to two behinds to put the game to bed with a 38-point buffer at the last break.
The Parrots had 30 scoring shots for nine majors but it was their nine behinds from as many opportunities in the final quarter that saved the Lions from complete humiliation.
John Ginnane bagged three goals in a leading performance for Leongatha while Cameron Stone and Chris Dunne kicked two each.
Moe hang on to fourth spot on the Gippsland league senior ladder despite the loss, but sit ahead of Warragul with percentage the only buffer.Kate Withers
MAFFRA returned to the Gippsland League football winners’ list with a resounding 96-point victory at Morwell.
In wintry conditions at Morwell on Saturday, the Eagles conceded just three goals for the match on their way to winning 17.18 (120) to 3.6 (24).
Mitch Bennett out-scored the home side off his own boot, kicking five goals, while Daniel Bedggood booted three.
The Tigers didn’t manage to kick a goal until the 24th minute of the second term — by then, the Eagles had already kicked nine.
Five unanswered goals gave Maffra a 33-point quarter-time lead, with the margin extended to 49 by the main break.
With percentage likely to play a part in deciding the minor premiership, the Eagles kept going in the second half, kicking eight goals to two.
The big victory added 11 points to Maffra’s percentage. The ladder-leading Eagles remain ahead of Leongatha on percentage.
Sam Pleming and Jarryd Clohesy led a tight defence, which only gave away nine scoring shots.
Jack Johnstone, Lachlan Channing and Andrew Petrou providing a strong link between attack and midfield, which Danny Butcher again prominent on the ball in the absence of Kel Porter.
Ryan Tatterson, Joel Soutar and Zac Anderson worked hard in the midfield for the Tigers, with forwards Tyler Hillier and Anthony Rosato doing well despite limited opportunities.David Braithwaite
Bairnsdale led at every change during their round 14 visit to Wonthaggi and returned with the premiership points and a 40-point win, 10.11 (71) to 3.13 (31).
The Power were ultimately undone by their inaccuracy on goal and went into the main break with one goal from six scoring shots.
They came home with fire in the final term but a further eight behinds from nine scoring shots meant they fell well short at the final siren.
Kieran Vickery, Ethan East and Alex McLaren shared the goalkicking duties for the Redlegs and finished with two each while singles went to four others.
Elliot Staley was the only multiple scorer for Wonthaggi and finished with two while a single went to Ben Eddy.Kate Withers
Drouin v Sale match review taken from article written by Sam Anstee reporting for Gippsland Times. TO view original article online in full visit http://www.gippslandtimes.com.au/story/5542067/magpies-overcome-hawks/?cs=1576
Leongatha v Moe and Wonthaggi v Bairnsdale match reviews taken from article written by Kate Withers reporting for Latrobe Valley Express. To view original articles online in full visit http://www.latrobevalleyexpress.com.au/story/5541810/tigers-feel-maffra-pain/?cs=1588
Morwell v Maffra match review taken from article written by David Braithwaite reporting for Gippsland Times. To view original article in full online visit http://www.gippslandtimes.com.au/story/5542002/maffra-thumps-morwell/?cs=1576
Traralgon v Warragul match review taken from article published by Warragul & Drouin Gazette. To view original article in full subscribe to Warragul & Drouin Gazette here http://thegazette.com.au/subscribe/
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