STRATFORD is only two points ahead of Lakes Entrance and Lucknow, who are chasing spots in the East Gippsland netball finals.
The fourth-placed Swans lost at home to second-placed Orbost-Snowy Rovers 43-38 on Saturday.
Lakes Entrance defeated third-placed Wy Yung 40-31 to remain ahead of Lucknow on percentage. The Magpies defeated Boisdale-Briagolong 51-41.
Lindenow defeated Paynesville 36-22 to maintain its six-point gap on the top of the ladder.
YARRAM remains in fifth place on the North Gippsland netball ladder after a three-goal win at Rosedale.
The Demons won 38-35 on Saturday, to remain four points ahead of sixth-placed Churchill, which thumped Gormandale 53-25.
Minor premier Heyfield defeated Cowwar 38-21, a result which knocked the Saints out of finals calculations.
Sale City booked its place in the finals with a 47-29 away win against Traralgon-Tyers United.
In a preview of a possible qualifying final, Woodside defeated Glengarry 56-45.