Swans prepare for finals

RELATED: Round 19 teams

ROUND 19 of East Gippsland football will provide an appetising pre-cursor to finals action, with ladder leader Stratford set to take on reigning premier Paynesville.

Dropping the points just once this season, Stratford will aim to continue the impressive form which has seen it easily dispose of fellow premiership aspirants in recent weeks.

Saturday’s match provides yet another test against quality opposition. Josh Kiss, Kieran O’Dwyer and Justin McLay didn’t take the field last week, and it will be interesting to see whether or not they return to the line-up for the big clash.

After a slow start, the Gulls have made a charge to the top four, aided by the gradual return of players from injury lay-off.

With its spot in the top four all-but assured, the Gulls will aim to give the Swans a scare ahead of the finals.

While the match should place no bearings on final ladder positions, don’t expect either side to give an inch.

Also on top of the ladder, the Swans reserves will look to continue their winning ways ahead of finals, while Stratford’s under 16 team need to defeat the third-placed Gulls and rely on wooden spooners Lindenow to upset Wy Yung to make finals.

LINDENOW will host Wy Yung with the double chance on the line.

With both sides locked on 52 points, the victor will earn the double chance while the loser will face the prospect of a dangerous eliminator against Paynesville.

The Cats enter the match in winning form, all-but ending Lakes Entrance’s season, while the Tigers had a tough day at the office against the ladder leaders.

The sides have split their encounters this season, with the home side prevailing on each occasion.

LUCKNOW and Lakes Entrance will meet in a match unlikely to place any bearing on final ladder positions.

Even if Paynesville loses to Stratford, the Seagulls would need to make up more than 50 percentage points.

Both teams will aim to finish the season on a high. The Seagulls won’t die wondering and will aim for a big score, and the Magpies will aim to hurt them on the rebound.

The interest will be on the under 18s, with the Seagulls aiming to leapfrog the Magpies into fourth position.

OR BOST-Snowy Rovers has the bye.