Thrillers in the fourths
Sale fourths were the first team to book a grand final spot after a thrilling come from behind second semifinal win against Bairnsdale on Saturday.
It was the second nail-biting win in a fortnight for the young Magpies that finished third on the ladder but have now beaten the two sides ahead of it.
On Saturday they squeezed past Bairnsdale by four points – 8-7 to 7-9 – after a two-point win against Wonthaggi in the qualifying final.
Bairnsdale led Sale by eight points at the half time and threequarter time breaks but it was the Magpies that closed out the game better kicking 2-2 to two behinds in the final term.
Mason Benson kicked three goals to help Sale over the line while Byron Vickery kicked four for the Redlegs.
Bairnsdale that ended the regular season on top of the ladder will battle with Wonthaggi for a place in the grand final and the chance to reverse Saturday’s result.
The early start for the long trip to Maffra for a 9 a.m. start on Sunday for the first semi-final looked to have taken a toll on Wonthaggi when Morwell got out to a three goals to nil lead at quarter time.
But Power levelled the scores by half time and the game was still tied up at the last change.
In a hard-fought final term Wonthaggi scored the only goal to scrape home by four points – 6-4 to 5-6.
Traralgon that finished on top of the ladder in the thirds won a place in the premiership decider with a dominant second half in the second semi-final against Moe.
The Lions led by five points in a tight low scoring first half before Traralgon burst clear with a ninegoal second half to win 10-7 to 54.
Moe will be on its home ground in next Saturday’s preliminary final in which it will line-up against Bairnsdale that has both junior sides still in contention.
The Redlegs and Sale were level at half time in the thirds first semi-final on Sunday but Bairnsdale was the better team in the second half controlling most of the play to run out 8-7 to 6-2 winners.
With their seasons on the line at Maffra in Sunday’s first semi-final Leongatha and Moe reserves staged a tight battle typified by this strong tackle by Moe’s Mitchell Mutke on opponent Jack Hemming. At the finish it was Leongatha that won through to next week’s preliminary final.