THE gap between the top and bottom four teams on the East Gippsland football ladder increased to two wins following Saturday’s matches.
After defeating teams in the bottom four, the top four remain level on points.
STRATFORD returned to the winners’ list with a 97-point victory over Wy Yung at home, 21.13 (139) to 6.6 (42).
The big victory increased the Swans’ percentage to keep them on top of the ladder.
The Swans kicked six goals to one in the first quarter before both sides booted four during the second, with the hosts leading by 38 points at the main break.
Any hope the Tigers had of coming back were extinguished in the third term, when the Swans kicked five goals to one, before adding six majors to one in the final quarter.
Tim Hawkins was outstanding playing at centre half-forward, playing alongside Ben Channing.
In a day when the forward had plenty of the ball, Rodney O’Keefe kicked five goals and Hayden Erfurth four.
Gavin Bickery, Mitch Hawkins and Regan Tait ensured the Swans controlled the midfield battle.
Chris Wheeler, Josh Broome and Jock Overend were best for the Tigers.
BOISDALE-BRIAGOLONG players and supporters would have enjoyed the long drive home after their 84-point win over Orbost-Snowy Rovers.
The Bombers kicked 13 unanswered goals over the first three quarters before both sides kicked seven during an attack-filled final term.
The Bombers won 20.10 (130) to 7.4 (46) to stay in second place on the ladder.
Sam Bedggood and Shaun Bates continued their good form for the Bombers, while James Whelan, Mat Goodwin and David McKean also made strong contributions. Jim Reeves stood out in the forward line, kicking six goals, while Jarrad Neilson booted four.
Cody Robertson and Hamish Nettleton (three goals) worked hard in a losing effort for the Blues.
LINDENOW held off a strong challenge from Lucknow to win by 15 points.
Trailing by three points at half-time, the Cats added seven goals to four to win 10.8 (68) to 7.11 (53).
Bayden Ashwood made the Cats’ best-on-ground for the second week in a row, while Jack Neal and Norman Barry were also major contributors. Luke Dyer kicked four goals.
Brodie Matthews and Tim Coxhill led the way for the Magpies.
IT took until the second half for Lakes Entrance to shake off Paynesville.
Leading by 25 points at half-time, the Seagulls kicked 12 goals to one in the second half to win 18.15 (123) to 4.6 (30).
Zach Svetlik and Darcy McKendry were the Seagulls’ best players.