DESPITE not playing on the weekend, Stratford moved to the top of the East Gippsland football ladder.
The Swans, who gained four points from having the bye, moved to the top on percentage after previous leader Paynesville’s three-point loss to Wy Yung.
The top three, Stratford, Paynesville and Lucknow, are equal on 44 points.
At Payneville, Wy Yung did enough to stay ahead of the Gulls, winning 8.12 (60) to 8.9 (57).
The Tigers led by 14 points at quarter-time before the Gulls fought back to level the scores by half-time.
The match remained tight during the second half, with the visitors leading by 10 points at the final change. Despite kicking two goals to one in the final term, the Gulls fell three points short at the final siren.
Daniel Zammit and Dion Ljujic led the way for the Tigers, with Matt Counahan kicking four goals.
Mark Sellings was the Gulls’ best player, kicking five goals.
LAKES Entrance kept its finals hopes alive with a thrilling six-point win at Lindenow.
There nothing between the sides all afternoon with the home side leading by two points at quarter-time, the Seagulls taking a two-point advantage into half-time before extending the margin to 13 at the final change.
The Cats tried hard to snatch the win in the final term, kicking two goals to one, but the Seagulls held on to win 11.7 (73) to 10.7 (67).
Gerard Kennedy kicked four goals for the Seagulls with James Beha and Luke Reggardo their best.
Jeremy Woodward was the Cats’ best, with Luke Schumann kicking five goals.
LUCKNOW was too strong for Orbost-Snowy Rovers, winning 15.17 (107) to 11.6 (72).
After 158-point loss the week before, the Blues put in an improved effort, but the Magpies showed why they are on track for back-to-back flags.
Daniel Evans and Gary Jones led the way for the Magpies, with Shaun Ryan booting four goals.
Brad Young was the Blues’ best with Dale Norman kicking three majors.