BALWYN has officially made its move into the EFL’s top flight, displaying the tenacity and senior experience expected from the start of the season.
It now looks ready to charge towards the finals with raised expectations.
A win on Saturday night under lights at Noble Park was just the tonic the Tigers needed, proving they can match it with the heavyweights.
However, question marks still hover over the Bulls.
Noble Park have been on the losing end in three of its last four games, including harrowing losses to Norwood and East Burwood.
In front of a large crowd, Saturday night’s contest proved to be a dour struggle as both teams came to grips with the conditions.
The Bulls started well and looked strong after holding Balwyn goalless in the first quarter.
The home team extended its 13-point quarter-time lead thanks to a bruising second term.
It headed into the long break with a 17-point buffer.
The in-and-under contests were a delight to see.
There were no half measures.
It was tough football with no room for the faint-hearted.
With Balwyn needing to lift, coach Daniel Harford fired up his troops and they responded with a four-goal third term to close to within five points.
Looking tired and jaded, the Bulls simply didn’t stack up in the last quarter.
The Tigers slotted through a match-winning four goals, while the Bulls could manage only an inaccurate seven behinds.
The loss leaves Noble Park in third position on the ladder, two wins behind Vermont and Balwyn, but only one win ahead of East Ringwood (fifth) and Blackburn (sixth).
Best for Noble Park included Tim Kelly, Tim Davison and Daniel Norman.
Peter O’Brien was the only multiple goalkicker with two.
Elsewhere in round 12, Scoresby easily accounted for Donvale, Vermont comfortably beat East
Ringwood by 23 points, Knox sneaked in by four points against Norwood, while Blackburn routed a hapless East Burwood side by 170 points.