STRATFORD secured the East Gippsland football minor premiership while also dealing a blow to the finals aspirations of Lakes Entrance.
Despite resting key forwards Josh Kiss and Kieran O’Dwyer from the line-up, the Swans powered to a 26.13 (169) to 7.3 (45) victory, sending an ominous warning to the competition ahead of finals.
The Swans jumped out of the box with a seven-goal first term and were never headed, despite the Seagulls putting in a competitive second term.
Leading by 35 points at the long break, the Swans extinguished any Lakes Entrance hope of a fight back with six goals in the third term before adding 11 majors to one in the final quarter to add to its already impressive percentage.
Liam Lemon ran rampant, kicking seven goals, while Pat Gordon and Nathan Channing kicked nine goals between them. The Swans were lining up in front of goal in the final term, finishing with 10 individual goal scorers.
Sam Noone drifted forward to kick two goals, while also giving the Swans midfielders first use out of the ruck. Corey Scholtes, Nick French and Jarryd Clohesy ensured Lemon, Gordon and Channing had good supply, while Jordan Robertson defended well.
Andrew Stevens kicked four goals for Lakes Entrance.
The Seagulls now have their work cut out to dislodge Paynesville inside the top four. Although with a game in hand, the Seagulls’ percentage is far inferior to that of the Gulls.
PAYNESVILLE found itself back in the top four following a big win over Orbost-Snowy Rovers, 25.17 (167) to 5.6 (36).
Holding a 31-point advantage at quarter-time, the Gulls slammed home 10 goals in the second quarter to have the match safely in its keeping.
Unfortunately for the Blues, the onslaught continued after the long break, with the Gulls kicking nine goals to one.
Spearhead Keith Ritchie led the way with six majors, with 12 individual goal scorers helping the Gulls’ cause.
Ashley Pescod took best on ground honours and has been a handy addition for the Gulls on the eve of finals. Damien Ashcroft, David Ashworth, Jason Waddell and Ryan Holland all continued their good form.
Darren Vickery booted four goals for the Blues, while Daniel Kane tried his best to stem the tide.
LINDENOW, Lucknow and Wy Yung all had the bye.