THERE was no joy for Stratford or Boisdale-Briagolong in the penultimate round of East Gippsland football.

Although a place in the finals is secure for the Swans, they suffered a defeat to Wy Yung, while the Bombers did not fare much better in their clash with Lindenow.

NEEDING a win to sew up a double-chance, Stratford and Wy Yung went head-to-head on the Swans’ home deck.

The match looked set to be a high-scoring affair, as eight goals were kicked in the opening term.

The Tigers built a four-goal buffer during the second quarter, which it was able to use to keep the Swans at bay for the rest of the match.

Stratford was still in with a chance at three quarter time, but an anticlimactic last quarter saw both sides only manage two goals.

Stratford FNC only managed two goals in the last quarter against the Tigers.
Photo Zoe Askew.

In the end, the Swans had to accept a 12.12 (84) to 7.8 (50) defeat.

Despite the result, Stratford won’t be overly concerned, as turning around a six goal margin is more than doable.

The Swans will welcome the opportunity to get the Tigers on Bairnsdale City Oval in a final, but for now, their attention will be focused solely on winning Round 18 to earn the double-chance.

Stratford only holds second place by two points from Lucknow, meaning it is going to come down to the last round to determine who gets an immunity card come finals.

The Magpies should win their Round 18 match against Boisdale-Briagolong, while the Swans take on Lakes Entrance.

Zane Perkins was again in the best for Stratford, while Alex Morcom, Haydn Erfurth, Gavin Bickery, Liam Cunningham and Reegan Tait were serviceable.

In better news for the Swans, youngster Blake Cuttriss made his senior debut. The 18-year-old has been identified as a player to watch, and Stratford are hoping he can develop into a fine ruckman.

To Swans coach Jarryd Clohesy’s credit, he has been prepared to give a kid an opportunity even right on the eve of finals.

Luke Elia, Jobe Somerville, Jock Overend, Brad Daniel, Dylan Somerville and Mitch Toms stood out for Wy Yung.

Stratford coach Jarryd Clohesy. Photo Zoe Askew.

BOISDALE-BRIAGOLONG now looks certain to claim the wooden spoon.

The Bombers competed in the first half against Lindenow, but dropped off completely on the resumption.

At half-time the margin was a manageable 32-points in favour of the Cats, but this bled out to 55 at the final siren.

The Bombers didn’t manage a goal in the third quarter, but were at least able to win the last quarter as the scoreboard read 16.18 (114) to 9.5 (59) come the end.

Kel Porter was his industrious self for the travelling red and blacks. Daniel Johnson, Billy Marshall, Ben Wilkinson, Paddy Mack and Sam Bedggood were others to ‘have a dip’.

The man for whom the East Gippsland league best-and-fairest is synonymous with, Luke Dyer, kicked five goals, while Rohan Blandford kicked three.

Stephen Henshaw was best for the Cats, along with Blandford, Kevin Bongers, Matt Irish, Ash Gould and Kyle Holmes.

Boisdale-Briagolong has fallen a game behind seventh-placed Orbost Snowy Rovers, meaning it will take a herculean effort for the Bombers to not finish last once Round 18 is complete.

The cruelty that is the footy cycle can be demonstrated using Boisdale-Briagolong.

The Bombers played in a grand final just three seasons ago, and now look set to claim the wooden spoon.

How quickly things can turn.

And how critical it is to capitalise when you are in the premiership window.

IN other matches, Orbost Snowy Rovers continued their great mini-revival, with a thrilling one-point win over Lakes Entrance.

The Blues got up 10.14 (74) to 10.13 (73), making it three wins in the last four weeks.

Jessie Pescod, Wesley Russell, Jarrah Nettleton, Clancy Bennett and Jordan Ross played well for the winners.

Best for the visiting Seagulls were Jarrod Matthews, John Hooper, Jared McDonnell, Ben Crittenden and Sam Nickless.

LUCKNOW had an easy win over Paynesville.

The Magpies didn’t give the Gulls a look-in, winning 13.15 (93) to 4.4 (28) at home.

The win keeps Lucknow’s chances of earning the double-chance alive.

Best for the Magpies were Tom Southen, Jesse Glassborow, Ry Mutimer, Jackson Smith, James Sanford and Joel McNamara.

Ben McKinnon, Caleb Holland, Beau Haslam, Nick Pincott, Matt Silva and Daniel Jones were best for Paynesville.