STRATFORD has bowed out of the East Gippsland football finals, going down to Lucknow by 16 points in the preliminary final.
The 12.20 (92) to 11.10 (76) result sets up a grand final between Paynesville and the reigning premier Lucknow at Bairnsdale City Oval this Saturday.
Lucknow held sway in a high scoring opening first term, booting seven goals to four to take a 24-point lead into quarter-time before holding the Swans at bay for the remainder of the contest.
The Swans were competitive after the Magpies got the early break, matching it with the Magpies in the second and third terms before winning a tight final quarter, only to go down by 16 points.
Josh Kiss again proved to be the focal point up forward for the Swans, kicking three goals, with Jack Bacon and Jordan Robertson chipping in with two goals each.
Jarryd Clohesy, Rowan Marsden, Lewis Bolton and Kaine Kerton again proved serviceable, while Gavin Bickery provided rebound out of defence. Patrick Goodman also featured in the Swans’ better players.
Brenton Martin kicked five goals for the Magpies, while midfielder David Donchi was also a key player for the Magpies.
STRATFORD also bowed out in the reserves, going down to a strong Lindenow outfit.
The Swans matched it with Lindenow in the opening term before the Cats ran away with it, winning 15.10 (100) to 7.9 (51).
Dylan Cartwright and Gavin O’Shanassy did their best to stem the tide for the Swans, while Tom Nash and Corey Fulford were also among the better players.
Aaron Lynch and Matt Tatterson kicked two goals each.
A STRONG final quarter saw Paynesville book a place in the under 18s grand final.
Leading by just three points at three-quarter-time, the Gulls powered away in the final term, booting five goals to two to win 12.7 (79) to 8.10 (58).
Ben Haslam, who has featured in Paynesville’s senior side on occasions this season, kicked six goals.