A SPOT in the East Gippsland football top two will be the goal for three teams when they play on Saturday.
Stratford, which appears to be safe on top of the ladder, will be keeping an eye on the scores as its scheduled opponent, Paynesville has forfeited its final two matches of the season.
Stratford, Lakes Entrance and Boisdale-Briagolong are level on points, but the Swans are ahead on percentage by at least 20 points.
With four premiership points guaranteed through the forfeit, the Swans will have a week to prepare for the finals.
A huge victory by Lakes or Boisdale-Briagolong will be needed to knock the Swans off top spot, but the goal of finishing the home-and-away season in second place, and gaining the double chance during the finals, is up for grabs, with Lindenow also in that race.
A lot of focus will be on the Boisdale Recreation Reserve, where the Bombers will host the Cats.
The Bombers will be playing their first match in more than a month, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes them to get back up the tempo of a competitive match.
The Cats blasted away the cobwebs with a 97-point victory over Orbost-Snowy Rovers, and will be an imposing challenge for the home side.
Bombers with long memories will remember the last time these teams met, in the 2019 grand final. There were some testy exchanges early, but the Cats focused on the job of winning the match first.
ANOTHER team which impressed at the weekend, Lakes Entrance, will play Lucknow.
The Seagulls took the match up to the ladder-leading Stratford, settling first and conceding just two second half goals on their way to a 68-point victory.
While the Seagulls have more to play for, Lucknow may not be a pushover, having won its previous two matches. The Magpies will be buoyed by their comeback victory over Wy Yung at the weekend, and will be aiming to see out the 2021 season on a positive note.
THE only match without repercussions on the finals will be between Orbost-Snowy Rovers and Wy Yung.
The winner can finish as high as fifth, depending on the margin and whether Lucknow can defeat Lakes Entrance.
The Tigers will be ruing the missed chance to defeat Lucknow, while the Blues will want to end their season on a winning note after three consecutive losses.
STRATFORD lost to Lakes Entrance 48-36 in East Gippsland A grade netball on Saturday.
Now six points outside the top four with one round to play, the loss ended the Swans’ hopes of making the finals.
Two points behind fourth-placed Lakes Entrance, Boisdale-Briagolong, in fifth, has to defeat third-placed Lindenow on Saturday if the Bombers are any chance to make the finals. The Bombers received four points for the bye at the weekend.
In the weekend’s other A grade matches, Lindenow defeated Orbost-Snowy Rovers 48-28 and undefeated ladder leader Wy Yung was too strong for Lucknow, winning 80-15.