NORWOOD will have to stop a rampant Balwyn to make the Eastern Football League division 1 grand final.
The Norsemen lost their major semi-final battle with Vermont by 44 points on Saturday as the Eagles booked the early berth in the division 1 grand final on September 22.
Balwyn thrashed Scoresby by 59 points in the elimination final on Sunday and Magpies coach Scott Whyte said he was impressed by the run of the Tigers, who will face Norwood in the preliminary final at Bayswater Oval this Saturday.
Whyte spoke to the Weekly after the elimination semi-final. "Norwood finished on top but the way Balwyn runs the ball and with their foot skills and spread on the big ground at Bayswater, they'd be favourites ahead of Norwood," Whyte said.
"Balwyn would also give Vermont a shot as well.
"The cream rises to the top and Balwyn's top five players were brilliant today and we couldn't go with them." Matt Declar, David Blackie, Matt Aver, Stuart Hill, Jesse Newman and Jayden Kroussoratis were best players for the Norsemen against Vermont.
The EFL also confirmed over the weekend that the size of each division will remain the same in 2013 with just one team in each competition being replaced.
The league confirmed Croydon would drop into division 2, to be replaced by division 2 premiers Rowville while Doncaster will drop into division 3 and Coldstream will drop into division 4.EFL division 1 major semi-final
Vermont 3.2, 5.4, 6.5, 10.8 (68)
Norwood 1.0, 3.2, 3.4, 3.6 (24)
GOALS, Vermont: N. Henley 2, A. Gileno 2, A. Ellis 2, L. Johns 1, T. Bird 1, R. Wilson 1, J. Dalton 1; Norwood: J. Kroussoratis 1, B. English 1, M. McCormack 1
BEST, Vermont: D. Millhouse, G. McCarthy, X. Barry-Murphy, D. Mendes, M. Bonuda, N. Mendes; Norwood: M. Decler, D. Blackie, M. Aver, S. Hill, J. Newman, J. Kroussoratis