STRATFORD maintained top spot on the East Gippsland football ladder despite going down to Lucknow.
The Swans were competitive against the Magpies in a round of upsets.
The 12.20 (92) to 10.9 (69) loss sees the Swans still hold top spot on percentage, with Paynesville also going down. The Magpies have drawn level with the Swans and Gulls following the victory.
Lucknow, who welcomed Brent Isles back into the side following what was touted as a possible career ending neck injury early in the season, got the early jump on the Swans to take a 14-point lead into quarter-time.
The Swans got their running game going in the second quarter, booting five goals for the term, but the Magpies would respond at the other end and take a 10-point lead into half-time.
The Magpies would again restrict the Swans to just one goal, as they did in the first quarter, to open up a handy buffer. Lucknow could have put the result beyond doubt, with inaccuracy hurting, booting 3.7 for the term.
The Swans would win the final term, but it wasn’t enough to reel in the 27-point deficit.
With Keiran O’Dwyer and Josh Kiss well-held, it was up to the Swans’ runners to provide the avenue to goal. Nick French was the only multiple goal scorer for the Swans with two.
Lachlan Heywood, who also drifted forward to kick a goal, and Tim Hawkins did their best to combat the Magpies’ forward 50 entries, while Corey Scholtes and Tye Morrison gave the Swans drive through the midfield.
Luke Clohesy and Liam Lemon were both prominent.
William Siana kicked three goals for the Magpies, while Brenton Martin chipped in with two majors along with Isles in his return match.
Jake St John was Lucknow’s best, while coach Gary Jones was also among the better players.
Cats bounce back
LINDENOW bounced back from its recent lean patch in an emphatic way, comfortably accounting for Paynesville.
Michael Delaney relished a return to the forward line, booting three goals, with Jordan Grumley also booting three majors in the 14.16 (100) to 7.8 (50) win.
The Cats made their move after a tight first half, booting eight goals to two after the main change to run out comfortable victor.
Travis Lawson and Will Blackley continued their good form for the Cats, and were well-supported by Delaney, Todd Alexander, Justin Blair and Daniel Harrison.
Haydn Robins kicked three goals for Paynesville, while Brayden Radford was the Gulls’ best.
Blues on bottom
ORBOST-Snowy Rovers replaced Lakes Entrance at the bottom of the table following a heavy defeat to the Seagulls, 24.16 (160) to 5.10 (40).
After a tight first term, Lakes Entrance ran away with it, booting 21 majors to two after quarter-time. The Seagulls would boot nine goals in the second quarter, following up with six goals in both the third and final terms to run out 120-point victor.
Macy Hambrook and Gerard Kennedy had a field day in front of goal, booting 13 goals between them, while James Beha chipped in with four majors. They enjoyed good supply from Michael Francis, Richard McDonald and Nathan Pegler, while Jarrod Matthews and Adam Lowcock were good in defence.
Deon Scott kicked two goals for the Blues, while Steve Alderton did his best to stem the tide.
WY Yung had the bye, and remains outside the top four on percentage.