Finals picture taking shape

Liam Durkin

WITH only four weeks to go until the East Gippsland football finals, the run home is beginning to throw up a number of possibilities as to where the teams will finish after round 18.

Both Boisdale-Briagolong and Lindenow will feel relatively safe, although the Bombers will be eager to snap a current two-game losing streak.

Wy Yung, currently in third position, will face a number of even money contests in the next three weeks when it plays Lindenow, Stratford and Lucknow. The Tigers have currently banked nine wins in season 2019, but will not want to leave it until the final game against Lakes Entrance to get itself the 10 generally needed to qualify for finals.

Stratford and Lucknow appear to be the two teams likely to be battling it out for the fourth place in the finals. The Swans are currently inside the top four on percentage from the Magpies, but face the toughest run home of any side in the competition.

In the final three rounds of the season, Stratford will play the top three teams, while Lucknow will begin as favourite in at least two of its remaining matches against Paynesville and Orbost-Snowy Rovers.

Assuming other results go as planned, Stratford will likely need to win at least two of its remaining four games to keep Lucknow at bay, and hope the Magpies don’t win by too much to go past the Swans on percentage.

STRATFORD will need to defeat Lake Entrance at home by a handsome margin.

The Swans have defeated the Seagulls in both matches this season, and will be determined to make it a clean three from three sweep.

Stratford has endured an up and down premiership defence, but will know its tough run home will serve it well if it is to make the finals as there is every chance the Swans will be entering most matches now with a finals type like mentality.

Lakes Entrance has failed to fire a shot this season and if it cannot find a winning formula against Stratford, will be staring down the barrel of a fifth straight loss.

LUCKNOW will look to put Paynesville away early at home, in a match the Magpies simply have to win to stay in contention for a finals berth.

Having been there or thereabouts for the most part of season 2019, Lucknow has a chance to win its fifth match in succession and continue to make Stratford fret on the possibility of it being displaced from the top four.

With only four wins to its name, there is little left for Paynesville to do but play for pride and try some new things heading into the next season.

IN a strange occurrence many people would not have thought was possible five weeks ago, Boisdale-Briagolong will enter its match against Orbost-Snowy Rovers with both teams coming off the back of losses.

The Bombers have hit a speed hump in the past two weeks, dropping games to Lindenow and Wy Yung to surrender their undefeated season.

Boisdale-Briagolong will be eager to put this match beyond doubt early and move into a tricky two-week period which will see it face the two teams most desperate to make finals in Lucknow and Stratford.

Veteran recruit Hayden Burgiel has still only played three matches and will need to run out at least one more time to qualify to pull on the Bombers jumper during finals.

Orbost-Snowy Rovers will enter the match determined to make life as difficult as possible for its opponent, in what will be another challenge for the besieged Blues. Orbost-Snowy Rovers will look to get through the game and tick off another week to see them closer to the end of the season.

FOR the time being, the match between Lindenow and Wy Yung on Saturday won’t do much to disturb the ladder, but will give the winner a great deal of confidence moving forward.

The Tigers have found a good run of form in recent times, winning their previous six matches. The Cats have been in equally impressive form, and are currently equal first on the ladder.

With both sides being the only two teams to have defeated Boisdale-Briaglong this season, spectators attending the game at Lindenow should be in for a high quality display of skilful and free-flowing football.