THE top four sides on the East Gippsland football ladder will be jockeying for positions ahead of the finals.
The reduction of the season has meant the four senior finalists have been sorted.
With only two rounds to play before the finals, three wins separate fourth-placed Lindenow and Orbost-Snowy Rovers and Lucknow, who are in fifth and sixth places respectively.
Interest now will be on who can secure a top two spot, and build up momentum into the finals. A lot will rest on Saturday’s match between Lakes Entrance and Stratford, and the contest between Boisdale-Briagolong and Lindenow the following Saturday.
STRATFORD can put a hand on the minor premiership with victory at Lakes Entrance on Saturday. Playing win less Paynesville the following Saturday, the Swans will have created an unassailable margin if they defeat the Seagulls.
The Seagulls only trail second-placed Boisdale-Briagolong on percentage, and could earn the finals double chance if they defeat the Swans then following up with success in a winnable match against Lucknow.
BOISDALE-BRIAGOLONG will head to Paynesville with the aim of boosting its percentage to strengthen its hold on second spot.
An unexpected loss tomorrow would put pressure from the Bombers to stay in the top two before taking on reigning premier Lindenow.
The Bombers have lost just one of their past eight matches, with that one-point defeat coming from a match abandoned early in the second half because of injury. The Bombers will look for that form to be restored as the season resumes.
LINDENOW can force its way into the top two with victories over Orbost-Snowy Rovers and
Boisdale-Briagolong. The Cats will host a Blues now out of finals calculations, but with an ability to shape the premiership race.
The loss to Lucknow before the season was paused proved to be costly for the Blues, with the enforced break robbing them of two matches, two chances to bridge the gap to the top four.
WY Yung and Lucknow will be playing for pride.
Just four points separates the sides on the ladder, both both in the fight with Orbost-Snowy Rovers to finish the season in fifth place.
MEANWHILE, the second semi-final is set to be played at Lucknow on August 21.
The change will be made as Bairnsdale is scheduled to play Drouin at Bairnsdale City Oval the same day in the final round of the Gippsland League.
The rest of the finals series will still be played at Bairnsdale City Oval.