BAYSWATER put on a season-defining performance to beat premiership-contender Mooroolbark at Bayswater Oval on Saturday.
The Waters trailed their Eastern Football League division 2 rivals by 11 points at three-quarter-time but continuous pressure from the home side and two final-quarter goals from inspiration midfielder David Burmeister got them home by 10 points.
The win kept the Waters ahead of Upper Ferntree Gully in fifth place on percentage and Waters coach Neil Winterton knows his side must continue its good form to if its to make the finals.
"It was a massive game because we had dropped the previous match to Doncaster East," he said.
"If we had dropped this one we would have fallen back and it would have been hard to make the finals from there."
Winterton said his side had never doubted it could return to the finals this year despite the improvement across several clubs in the competition.
He said the players just needed a result to hang their hats on.
"We have never really wavered in the belief that we were good enough to beat anyone on any given day.
"We have been so close in some of our other matches, to knock-off Mooroolbark when it was on top gives us some belief that we can mix it with anyone."
Winterton praised his side's ball pressure and the performances of experienced stars Burmeister, Matt Hayhurst, Sam Nevins and Adam Jones who all lifted for the occasion.
"I spoke to a few of the experienced boys like Burmeister before the game and asked them for a big effort.
"Dave kicked those fantastic goals in the last term to put us in front and then to seal the game. My experienced guys have been really good all year and I'm not expecting that to change in the last part of the season. They know how important these matches are."
The Waters will be hoping leading goalkicker Wayne McInerney recovers from a hamstring twinge in time to face top-team Rowville this Saturday.
McInerney kicked three goals on Saturday before leaving the field with the injury. Winterton will miss again as he recovers from injury.
Upper Ferntree Gully just avoided a costly loss to Waverley Blues on Saturday, sneaking home by three points and Rowville thrashed Doncaster by 128 points.
EFL division 2 ladder:
Montrose 40 points, 171.01 percentage; Rowville 40, 157.05; Mooroolbark 40, 134.30; Donvale 30, 116.78; Bayswater 24, 116.82; Upper Ferntree Gully 24, 79.33; Doncaster East 22, 79.87; Waverley Blues 12, 74.91; Doncaster 8, 69.61; Mulgrave 0, 63.54.
Sandringham Dragons 19.12 (126) d Eastern Ranges 3.6(24).
Eastern Football League:
Division 1: Vermont 17.18 (120) d South Croydon 8.9 (57); Scoresby 20.18 (138) d Croydon 7.3 (45); Blackburn 12.15 (87) d East Burwood 11.8 (74); Lilydale 15.9 (99) d Knox 8.8 (56); Noble Park 18.18 (126) d East Ringwood 13.11 (89); Norwood 8.13 (61) d Balwyn 4.10 (34).
Division 2: Bayswater 13.11 (89) d Mooroolbark 11.13 (79); Rowville 26.15(171) d Doncaster 6.7 (43); Donvale 10.16 (76) d Doncaster East 6.9 (45); Montrose 12.19 (91) d Mulgrave 8.7 (55); Upper Ferntree Gully 10.8 (68) d Waverley Blues 10.5 (65).
Division 3: Heathmont 18.6 (114) d Boronia 15.17 (107); Ringwood 18.11 (119) d Chirnside Park 4.7 (31); Mitcham 14.7 (91) d Glen Waverley Hawks 11.15 (81); Wantirna South 11.17 (83) d Warrandyte 11.4 (70); North Ringwood 20.19 (139) d Coldstream 12.7 (79); Templestowe 15.17 (107) d Whitehorse Pioneers 4.11 (35).
Division 4: South Belgrave 14.17 (101) d Park Orchards 9.15 (69); Forest Hill 16.11(107) d Surrey Park 6.7 (43); Ferntree Gully 12.13 (85) d Eastern Lions 7.11 (53); Kilsyth 16.18 (114) d Canterbury 8.5 (53); The Basin 22.17 (149) d Silvan 8.16 (64).
Yarra Valley Mountain District FL:
Division 1: Warburton Millgrove 22.11 (143) d Healesville 13.11 (89); Gembrook Cockatoo 21.10 (136) d Mount Evelyn 12.8(80); Olinda Ferny Creek 15.6 (96) d Emerald 13.12 (90); Monbulk 15.18 (108) d Upwey Tecoma 6.10 (46); Woori Yallock 20.19 (139) d Wandin 14.4 (88).
Division 2: Belgrave 15.15 (105) d Seville 9.14 (68); Yarra Junction 19.14 (128) d Yea 10.7 (67); Kinglake 19.13 (127) d Powelltown 11.11 (77); Yarra Glen 12.11(83) d Alexandra 8.6 (54).
For full results, click on Knox Latest Sport Results link at upper right.
North Ballarat Rebels v Eastern Ranges, Eureka Stadium noon.
Eastern Football League:
Division 1: East Burwood v East Ringwood, East Burwood Reserve 2.10pm; Knox v Norwood, Knox Gardens Reserve 2.10pm; Lilydale v South Croydon, Lilydale Sports Oval 2.10pm; Noble Park v Scoresby, Pat Wright Senior Oval 2.10pm; Vermont v Croydon, Vermont Recreation Reserve 2.10pm.
Division 2: Donvale v Upper Ferntree Gully, Donvale Reserve 2.10pm; Mooroolbark v Montrose, Heights Reserve 2.10pm; Mulgrave v Doncaster, Mulgrave Reserve 2.10pm; Rowville v Bayswater, Seebeck Oval 2.10pm; Doncaster East v Waverley Blues, Zerbes Reserve 2.10pm.
Division 3: Heathmont v Mitcham, HE Parker Reserve 2.10pm; Chirnside Park v Glen Waverley Hawks, Kimberley Reserve 2.10pm; North Ringwood v Ringwood, Quambee Reserve 2.10pm; Boronia v Whitehorse Pioneers, Tormore Reserve 2.10pm; Wantirna South v Templestowe, Walker Reserve 2.10pm; Warrandyte v Coldstream, Warrandyte Reserve 2.10pm.
Division 4: The Basin v Kilsyth, Batterham Reserve 2.10pm; South Belgrave v Nunawading, Belgrave South Recreation Reserve 2.10pm; Canterbury v Ferntree Gully, Canterbury Sports Ground 2.10pm; Forest Hill v Park Orchards, Forest Hill Reserve 2.10pm; Silvan v Surrey Park, Silvan Recreation 2.10pm.
Yarra Valley Mountain District FL:
Division 1: Emerald v Monbulk, Emerald 2.15pm; Healesville v Gembrook Cockatoo, Healesville 2.15pm; Mount Evelyn v Olinda Ferny Creek, Mt Evelyn 2.15pm; Upwey Tecoma v Woori Yallock, Upwey Tecoma 2.15pm; Wandin v Warburton Millgrove, Wandin 2.15pm.
Division 2: Alexandra v Belgrave, Alexandra 2.15pm; Kinglake v Yea, Kinglake 2.15pm; Powelltown v Yarra Glen, Powelltown 2.15pm; Seville v Yarra Junction, Seville 2.15pm.
All games on Saturday unless otherwise stated.