Thrillers in the fourths

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - LIFT OUT -

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.

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