CLOSE calls were the order of the day in East Gippsland football.

Of the four matches played in Round 13, two were decided by five points, while another saw only 14-points the difference at the final siren.

STRATFORD won a competitive game against Orbost Snowy Rovers.

The Swans got the job done in a 9.9 (63) to 8.1 (49) performance at home to keep second spot on the ladder.

The Blues proved a hard team to shake, and finished strongly, kicking two goals and keeping Stratford scoreless in the last quarter.

Orbost Snowy Rovers held a two-point lead at the first break, but the Swans then gained the ascendency, and added eight goals to four over the next two quarters.

Stratford came out after the main break up-and-firing, and kicked six goals to set up a comfortable, but by no means safe, 26-point lead.

The Blues could have been forgiven for thinking a famous upset was on the cards as they cut the margin back to 14-points during the last term, but time eventually became their biggest enemy.

Despite the result, the profile of the match was evidence Orbost Snowy Rovers are continuing to track in the right direction.

For a team on the bottom of the ladder, the Blues have been more than competitive this season, with their last few weeks showing very encouraging signs.

Since Round 8, the team has drawn two matches, and lost games by only three, 12 and 14 points.

As well as this, Orbost Snowy Rovers kicked 12 goals against top side Wy Yung – only one other East Gippsland team has managed more in a game against the Tigers this season.

Best players for the Blues against Stratford were Jordan Ross, Wesley Russell, Aiden Giove, Mitchell Fenner, Will Herbert and Max Welsh.

The Swans found solid contributions from Dylan Cartwright, Gavin Bickery, James Channing, Jesse Broadbent, Tim Hector and Alex Morcom.

Youngster Ben Dekkers made his senior debut, and was able to kick the Swans’ first goal for the game.

In celebration of NAIDOC Week, Stratford wore specially designed Indigenous jumpers for the match.

Players took part in a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony, while best-on-ground winners received medals name in honour of former Stratford player Reg Saunders.

BOISDALE-BRIAGOLONG can now only hope to play finals.

The Bombers‘ destiny is out of their hands, after they dropped the bundle against Paynesville 11.6 (72) to 9.13 (67).

Taking to their home ground, Boisdale-Briagolong led by 13-points at three quarter time, but capitulated terribly in the last, only scoring one point, while the Guls scored three goals.

The Bombers looked set to achieve victory during the second quarter, after they kicked six goals and went into the main break with a three-goal gap on their opponents.

However, the script was flipped in the second half as Paynesville did virtually the same, scoring half a dozen majors, keeping Boisdale-Briagolong to only two goals themselves.

In wet and slippery conditions, the winners were well-served by David Ashworth, Ben McKinnon, Nick Pincott, Matt Silva, Beau Haslam and Josh Cameron.

For the Bombers, Kel Porter, Cal Egan, Paddy Mack, Ben Wilkinson, Jim Reeves and Andrew Quirk played well.

With nine losses to their name, Boisdale-Briagolong’s finals chances now carry the dreaded tagline of ‘mathematically possible and needing other results to go their way’.

The chances of the Bombers qualifying for the post-season now look remote, and one more defeat will officially put a red line through them for season 2022.

WY YUNG all but sewed up the minor premiership.

The Tigers broke away from a determined Lakes Entrance, winning 13.9 (87) to 6.7 (43).

LINDENOW won a thriller against Lucknow.

The match was befitting of one between teams ranked third and fourth, as the Cats got up 11.14 (80) to 11.9 (75).

Lindenow held a 20-point lead at the main break, but had to hold on for dear life as the visiting Magpies came storming home.