IN the first round after the East Gippsland football bye for the Queen’s Birthday weekend, a beleaguered Lucknow will head to Boisdale-Briagolong on Saturday.
After such a strong start to the season, the Magpies are barely holding on to a top four position, with the wolves at the door.
Three teams are threatening to break in, and while Boisdale-Briag’s percentage isn’t quite strong enough to keep it there, if Lucknow loses, the next few weeks will be very interesting.
The race to the finals will also depend on a crucial clash this weekend between Lakes Entrance and Wy Yung, the two other teams fighting for a place in the top four.
Wy Yung crushed Lucknow last round, and could continue its good form, while the Seagulls, battered by Lindenow and Stratford, will have to fight hard to get in front.
Stratford will take the long road to Orbost in what should be an excellent match.
The Blues and the Swans are even on points, but Stratford has a stronger percentage — a win here would shore up its ladder position before it takes on Paynesville next week.
Both teams have impressed in previous rounds, and the high stakes match should bring out their best.
Paynesville will also play Lindenow, in a challenging match for the improving Gulls.