Double-chance within its grasp

TRARALGON is a step closer to making its plans of a top three Gippsland League finish a reality.

The Maroons returned to form after last week’s disappointing loss to Maffra, with a percentage boosting 129-point win over Drouin at home.

Traralgon captain Jaime Aitkin led his troops in a best on ground performance while brother Tim finished with a bag of five goals.

The Maroons’ big guns have found form at the right time of the year with Jackson Hall (four goals), Lee Stockdale (two goals) and Josh Jennings (two goals), among the major contributors.

The home team dominated all day; it led by 10 goals at half-time before repeating the performance in the second half.

Sale v Maffra

NOW with wins over every Gippsland League team, Sale remains a firm favourite to win back-to-back flags after 16 rounds.

Sale is known for its entertaining clashes with fierce rival Maffra and yesterday’s battle of the birds was no exception.

Eager to make amends for its loss to the Eagles in the first half of the year, Sale stormed out of the gate and used the wind advantage to establish a 34-point first term lead.

It was all the visitor in the second quarter.

Maffra slammed on eight goals to Sale’s three and was back within four points of the reigning premier at half-time.

The Magpies were still in the lead at three-quarter-time after a hard fought third term which saw both sides add just two goals apiece.

Maffra had the wind advantage in the last stanza but it was all Sale.

The ladder leader had a point to prove and did exactly that, adding four goals to the Eagles’ one to run out 28-point winners.

Sale coach Matt Ferguson booted four majors, a feat equaled at the other end by Maffra forward Darren Sheen.

Morwell v Leongatha

SECOND placed Morwell showed its enduring quality with an 89-point win over Leongatha.

Five goals from Mannon Johnston, a best on ground performance, helped the Tigers, who had 11 individual goal kickers, to their 13th win of the year.

The home team was sluggish early with just two majors in the opening term.

Nevertheless it led Leongatha by six points at the first change.

By half-time, that lead was out to 30 points.

The home team doubled its score in the third, in a quarter which saw the visiting Parrots add four goals to trail by 46 points at the last change.

The Tigers stormed to victory with an 11-goal to two last term.

Cade Maskell was among Leongatha’s best with four majors.

Wonthaggi v Bairnsdale

WONTHAGGI cemented its place in the final five with a narrow win over the visiting Bairnsdale.

A finals berth was still mathematically possible for the Redlegs, and they threw everything they had at the Power, which earlier in the year was being touted as a serious premiership contender.

The Power led by a kick after a tightly contested opening term.

It set the trend for the remainder of the day, which brought with it an early taste of September.

Wonthaggi maintained the upper hand in the second.

The home team booted two goals five to Bairnsdale’s two straight to lead by 11 points at the half.

The visitor came out firing to produce a dominant third quarter performance.

The Redlegs added three goals to the Power’s one to trail by a single point at the last change.

With its season on the line, Wonthaggi was forced to dig deep in the last.

It produced its best quarter of the day and earned four majors to Bairnsdale’s two to win by 16 points.

The victory was the Power’s second in a row but it came off the back of a four-match losing streak.

Adam Cook booted four for the Power but he was outdone by his opposite number; James Gibbs booted seven of Bairnsdale’s 10 goals for the day.

Moe v Warragul

MOE conceded one of its most disappointing losses of the year, going down at home to Warragul in a match the Lions had earmarked as a possible win.

The Gulls were off and flying early with a four-goal-to-none opening term and never looked back.

The visitors led by eight goals at the half and 77 points at three-quarter-time before emerging as 101-point winners.

Mark Collison was named best for Warragul with three goals, a feat matched by James Davidson.

James Blaser booted two of Moe’s three goals and was named second best behind Leigh Sheehan.