Grand final spot up for grabs

LUCKNOW and Paynesville will compete for first spot in the East Gippsland football grand final at Bairnsdale City Oval on Sunday.

Both sides enter the contest fresh after having last weekend off, with the bye in the final home and away round giving the Magpies an extra week’s break following their gruelling round 18 encounter against the Gulls.

The Magpies won that contest by just two points in a thrilling finish, but nearly kicked themselves out of it, booting 9.20.

Paynesville bounced back in round 18 and showed it means business this finals campaign, thumping Orbost-Snowy Rovers to the tune of 146 points.

The season 2013 ledger stands at 2-1 in the Gulls’ favour, winning the round six contest comfortably and holding the Magpies at bay for an 11-point win in round 13.

Both sides boast strong midfields and forwards, and should play out another thrilling contest.

Stratford will take an interest in the contest, as it will meet the loser for the second spot in the grand final next week.

FALLING short by of a place in the season 2012 grand final by no less than a goal, Stratford’s reserves side will be out to book its place this time around when it meets Lucknow.

Going out in straight sets last season, the Swans will be out to ensure a repeat has no chance of eventuating when they take on the Magpies.

Despite Stratford finishing one win ahead on the ladder, the Magpies will enter the contest favorites having accounted for the Swans on all three occasions during the home-and-away season.

The Swans were far from disgraced in their encounters with the Magpies, putting in competitive efforts, but will be looking to go one better this week to be the first Swans side to book a place in the 2013 decider.

PAYNESVILLE will meet Lindenow in the under 18s second semi-final.

Little separates the two sides, who have been the stand-outs of the under 18 competition, with the Gulls finishing one game clear on top but the Cats boasting a superior percentage.

Paynesville will enter the contest with confidence, having comfortably disposed of the Cats in both home-and-away encounters this season.

For read Friday’s Gippsland Times.

EGFNL finals draw:

Second semi-final, Sunday at Bairnsdale City Oval:

Football, seniors: Lucknow v Paynesville, 2pm; reserves: Stratford v Lucknow, noon; under 18s: Paynesville v Lindenow, 10am.

Netball, A grade: Stratford v Lucknow, 2pm; B grade: Stratford v Lakes Entrance, 1pm; C grade: Wy Yung v Orbost-Snowy Rovers, noon; C grade reserve: Wy Yung v Orbost-Snowy Rovers, 11am; D grade: Stratford v Wy Yung, 10am.