Perennial finalist Riddell was sneaking under the radar in the Riddell District Football League this season. But not any more.
After previously failing to beat any of the sides in the top six, the Bombers faced Macedon, a side on the rise, at Riddells Creek Reserve on Saturday.
Like the Bombers, the Cats had come undone against sides in the top six but had impressed in close losses against Romsey and Diggers Rest.
Less than a goal separated the two teams at half-time, but class and experienced players came to the fore in the second half as the Bombers won 15.11 (101) – 12.5 (77).
Bombers coach Troy Scoble said it was his side’s best win in more than a year.
“It was probably our best win in a couple of years, to be honest,” he said.
“It took a really good four-quarter effort. We have a really young side this year and we needed to beat a really quality side.
“We’ve been able to get over the sides below but this was the first time in a year we’ve beaten a side above us.
“There is nothing between us and Macedon and it could have gone the other way; it was a real crunch game for us.”
It didn’t look like it would be a good day for the Bombers early, with star Cats forward Marcus Kenny kicking four of the Cats’ first five goals.
The Bombers midfield made sure it didn’t continue in the second half and Kenny was barely sighted.
“No backman in this competition can really play on Kenny, so you have to stop the supply,” Scoble said.
“We’re fortunate to have Matty Darby. He provided a good match-up for Kenny with a bit of speed and broke even in the 50/50s.
“[But] we felt it was more the midfield dominance that stopped Kenny.”
It was the experienced heads of Hayden Ross, Paul Sahlberg and Brian Ruffell that were best afield.
“To win games like that you need your experienced guys to play well,” Scoble said.
“They’re all premiership-winning players, so we look for them in big games.”
With the exception of the round 14 clash with Melton Centrals, the Bombers face sides in the top seven all the way until the end of the season.
“We’re under no illusions,” Scoble said.
“ I think the top seven teams will even up and I think it’s the closest [season] I’ve seen the league.”
Rupertswood, Romsey, Lancefield and Diggers Rest won the round’s other games.