STRATFORD has climbed back into the East Gippsland football top four with an impressive 50-point win over reigning premier Lucknow in round four.
The Swans pushed away after half-time after a low-scoring first half to run out 50-point victors, 14.13 (97) to 6.11 (47).
Stratford got an early break on Lucknow, taking a 14-point lead into quarter-time, before the Magpies closed the margin to six points at the long break in a torrid first half where only five goals were scored between the two sides.
The Swans opened the game up in the third term, booting six goals to two to take in a handy 32-point lead at the final change before going on with it in the final quarter, adding a further five goals.
Josh Kiss was again well held in front of goal, but Keiran O’Dwyer stepped up with five majors for the Swans.
The Magpies struggled for an avenue to goal without recruit Brent Isles, whose football career is in the balance following a late off the ball hit in the clash with Wy Yung that left him suffering snapped vertebrae in his neck.
Gary Jones kicked two goals, while Brenton Martin slotted one.
Stratford talls Tye Morrison and Kaine Kerton continued their stellar form, while Lewis Bolton, Jarryd Clohesy and Lachlan Dobson were solid contributors around the ground.
PAYNESVILLE scored a comfortable 17.16 (118) to 12.4 (76) victory over Lindenow to move a game clear on top of the ladder.
The Gulls got the early jump on the Cats, taking a 26-point lead into quarter-time.
Lindenow’s accuracy in front of goal got it back into the contest, scoring 6.1 to the Gulls 3.5 in the second term to close the gap to 12 points at half-time.
Still in the game at three-quarter-time, the Cats could only manage two behinds in the final term, while Paynesville scored five goals to run out a 42-point victor.
Michael Delaney kicked two goals for the Cats.
LAKES Entrance is still searching for its first win after just falling short against Orbost-Snowy Rovers on Saturday night.
The Seagulls got off to a flier with a six-goal opening term before letting it slip, going down 11.15 (87) to 13.9 (87).
A seven-goal second term gave the Blues a half time lead, extending it to 29 points at the final change.
The Seagulls would make a late charge with a five-goal final quarter, only to finish six points short.
Deon Scott kicked five goals for the Blues, while Jesse and James Beha were targets up forward for the Seagulls with five goals between them.
WY Yung climbed from bottom of the ladder courtesy of the bye.