Valley’s hopes on Maroons

Traralgon and Leongatha clash in a cut-throat Gippsland League semi-final at Moe on Sunday.

The loser will hang up their boots for the season while the winner moves on to take on the loser of the Sale and Maffra blockbuster.

While Traralgon defeated Morwell by 21 points, Leongatha was smashed by Maffra and of the two sides neither was impressive last weekend.

However, Leongatha did show a glimpse of the good form it is capable of with a quarter-and-a-half of good football, but fell away soon after.

This is the first time the Parrots and the Maroons met in a final since the 1998 grand final which Traralgon won by 98 points.

Leongatha’s Stuart Kilsby faced the tribunal last night for striking Maffra’s Daniel O’Brien which broke his jaw.

Jake Best had a rare goalless day and the Traralgon defence, led by Jamie Aitken and Matt Jones, will need to watch him closely.

Dwayne Holt was the Parrots’ only effective forward against Maffra with four goals, and with 60 goals for the season is a more than capable full-forward.

Traralgon will hope for the return of Dan McKenna after he was stretchered from the field after an unsuccessful marking contest against Morwell.

McKenna was up and about after the game.

While he had a quiet day against the Tigers, McKenna can kick a bag of goals when he is on song, having already kicked 53 for the year.

Josh Jennings is an effective leader but to win this he must get his troops playing football for four quarters.

Against Morwell the Maroons’ second quarter was excellent but after half-time they struggled.

If it was not for Lee Stockdale and Rohan Hildebrand they could have been onlookers this week.

Leongatha has won six of its past 10 matches against Traralgon and expect the Parrots to return to form and progress to the preliminary final.

Second semi-final

On Saturday Latrobe Valley supporters have the opportunity to watch a mouth-watering clash between Gippsland League heavyweights, Sale and Maffra, at Traralgon Recreation Reserve.

Sale is long odds on favourite to win this year’s premiership but when these two meet previous form goes out the window.

In home and away matches only two games separate them over 269 contests, with Sale holding sway, but in 20 finals meetings Maffra leads 11 to nine.

Sale’s form has been impeccable in the latter half of the season and the way it has outplayed the opposition has been impressive.

Against Leongatha Maffra came back to the form expected from a successful finals side, however it is hard to go past Sale to win this one.