STRATFORD moved into second place on the East Gippsland football ladder following a five-goal win over Wy Yung.
The Swans got the jump on Wy Yung in the first quarter before keeping the Tigers at bay, winning 12.20 (92) to 9.8 (62).
Stratford took a 28-point lead into the first change before extending it to 34 by half-time. The Swans could have been further ahead, booting 2.8 for the term.
Facing a 42-point deficit at three-quarter-time, the Tigers hit back in the final term, kicking three goals to the Swans one but the charge was left too late.
Keiran O’Dwyer returned to form in front of goal, booting three majors, while Kaine Kerton was influential around the ground, also kicking two goals.
Jack Bacon, Lachlan Dobson and Tye Morrison were also among Stratford’s better players, and they were well supported by promising youngsters Taylor Tatterson and Liam Lemon, who booted two goals.
Matt Counahan booted four goals for the Tigers.
Pies on top
LUCKNOW secured the minor premiership with a thrilling two-point victory over Paynesville.
An inaccurate Magpies trailed at every change except the one that mattered most, holding on for a two-point win in a tight affair, 9.20 (74) to 10.12 (72).
Brenton Martin kicked two goals for the Magpies, with midfielders Ash Smith and David Donchi leading the way.
Bairnsdale-listed Mark Sellings did his chances of a Redlegs recall no harm with four goals, while Damien Ashcroft was among the Guls betters players.
LINDENOW climbed back into the top four with a percentage-boosting win over Orbost-Snowy Rovers, 22.18 (150) to 4.7 (31).
The victory sets up what will effectively be an elimination final against Wy Yung next week, with the victor to secure fourth spot.
The Cats kicked seven goals to the Blues’ one in the opening term and were never headed, adding six majors in the second quarter and five in the third to extend the lead beyond 100 points.
Luke Schumann led the charge in front of goal with six majors, while Michael Delaney kicked five goals.
Bairnsdale-listed Matt Busch made an effective return from injury with four goals, while Brett Walker proved another target with three majors.
Morgan Davies was the Cats’ best, while Daniel Kane and Andrew Stanton did their best to stem the tide for the Blues.
LAKES Entrance had the bye.