STRATFORD suffered its first loss for the East Gippsland football season, going down at Lucknow by 14 points.
While still far ahead on top of the ladder by percentage, the result must come as a shock to the Swans, who have been piling on wins.
After winning 8.13 (61) to 6.11 (47), Lucknow is emerging as the team to watch this season.
Despite a good start, Stratford let the Magpies pull ahead at half-time by two points, with inaccurate shots at goal not helping in the first quarter — Stratford kicked 2.8 to 1.2, indicating a much stronger foundation was possible.
Tellingly, the Swans only kicked a single goal in the third and fourth quarters.
Peter Jenner, with two goals, and Andrew Nelson led the way for Lucknow, while small forward Rodney O’Keefe kicked three goal for Stratford, and midfielder Lewis Bolton was their best.
BOISDALE-BRIAGOLONG’S momentum keeps building, with a thrilling win over Lindenow, 14.13 (97) to 14.8 (92).
It was goal-for-goal for most of the match, neither team able to kick away to a convincing margin.
The Bombers stayed cool under immense defensive pressure, getting the ball to the right players at the right time.
Boisdale-Briagolong’s Dylan Bolton and Lindenow’s Darren Allen kicked six goals each, which again shows how close this match was.
Luke Dyer, who kicked two goals for the Cats, was their best player, while Shaun Bates, who played well at half-back, was best for the Bombers.
Boisdale-Briagolong is still just out of the top four on the ladder, however, it’s leading in the reserves — this week, adding a 35.15 (225) to 4.4 (28) win to the tally.
LAKES Entrance and Wy Yung, as expected, put Paynesville and Orbost-Snowy Rovers respectively to the sword.
The Seagulls crushed the fledgling Paynesville side 14.21 (105) to 3.4 (22), with Darcy McKendry named best, and Tom Smith leading the goalkickers with four.
Cory Pescod was best for Paynesville, which was scoreless in the first and third terms.
It was a similar story at Wy Yung, as the Tigers took down the winless Orbost side, 17.21 (123) to 2.5 (17).
Ben Powell booted seven goals for the home side, and Craig Froud was named best.
Mitchell Dignan was the stand-out for the Blues.