Swans too tough for Tigers

David Braithwaite

STRAFORD kept Wy Yung score-less in the second half as it powered away to a 148-point victory, and remain on top of the East Gippsland football ladder.

With both sides going into Saturday’s match at Stratford level on points, the Swans made the top of the table clash look anything but, winning 25.20 (170) to 3.4 (22).

The matter was settled in the first term, when the Swans kicked nine unanswered goals to lead by 57 points at quarter-time.

Tim Hawkins marked his 100th senior game with a  best-on-ground performance.

Hawkins was a constant danger for the Tiger defence, finishing with four goals.

Haydn Erfurth led the way on the scoreboard, kicking five goals, while onballer Nick French drifted forward to also kick four goals, and Cohan Lee, Jack Bacon and another 100-gamer, Josh Kiss, booted three each.

With the Stratford defence giving little room for the Tigers, Lewis Bolton gave the home plenty of drive off half-back, with Regan Taitand French among the Swans hitting forward targets from the midfield.

The Tigers put the Swans under pressure in the opening minutes of the match, but that was short-lived as Erfurth kicked the first goal from the Swans’ first forward entry.

After a Wy Yung kick-out from full back went out on the full, Jordan Robertson set-up a goal Lee.

Stratford was not giving the Tigers any room to advance forward, restricting the visitors to short kicks.

The Swans were winning the contests, a point highlighted by Mitch Hawkins’ goal in the 13th minute.

The Swans were punishing Tiger turnovers, with Tim Hawkins’ kick finding Kiss for another major.

With the quarter heading into time-on, French and Bacon kept the goals flowing before Tim Hawkins’ roving goal. Bacon kicked the Swans’ ninth goal on the run shortly before the quarter-time siren.

Both sides were missing chances to kick goals early in the second term until Marcus Savage posted the Tigers’ first major 13 minutes into the quarter.

The Tigers won the quarter, kicking three goals to two, but the Swans were still leading by 52 points at the main break. That was as good as it got for the visitors, who didn’t add to their score in the second half, while the Swans added 14 goals.

Stratford remains on top of the ladder, ahead of Lakes Entrance on percentage, while Wy Yung dropped to third place. The Swans will host fourth-placed local rival Boisdale-Briagolong this Saturday in a big match for both teams.

BOISDALE-BRIAGOLONG strengthened its hold on fourth place with a 68-point win at Paynesville.

The Bombers won 17.17 (199) to 8.3 (51), and are now two wins ahead of fifth-placed Lindenow with four rounds of the home-and-away season remaining.

The visitors dominated the first term, but kicked four goals from 11 scoring shots, as the Gulls kicked one major.

Leading by 25 points at quarter-time, the Bombers kicked three goals to two in the second term to extend the margin to 33 by half-time.

Any hope the Gulls had of coming back were ended during the third quarter, when the Bombers kicked five goals to two. The Bombers ended the match strongly, booting five goals to three in the final term.

Brendan Rathnow and Shaun Bates stood-out for the Bombers, while Dylan Bolton kicked six goals and Jeremy Reid three.

Earlier in the reserves, Danny Pratt kicked 22 goals in the Bombers’ 240-point thumping. Three other Bombers kicked more than the Gulls’ total of two.

LAKES Entrance returned to the second place, and also dealt a blow to Lucknow’s finals hopes.

The visiting Seagulls won 14.15 (99) to 9.12 (66), a result which saw the Magpies fall from fifth spot on the ladder to sixth.

Joel Campbell was the Seagulls’ best player, while James Gibbs and William Puruntatameri kicked three goals each. Shaun Ryan kicked four goals for the Magpies.

LINDENOW moved into fifth spot with a 51-point away victory over an inaccurate Orbost-Snowy Rovers.

Michael Preston kicked six goals to help the Cats to a 17.13 (115) to 8.16 (64).

Matt Irish and Pat Alexander also play prominent roles for the Cats.