Mt Barker coach David Johnson lauded his team’s persistence and determination after a convincing four-quarters helped them emerge 25-point victors over Railways at Sounness Park on Saturday. In the top of the table Great Southern Football League clash, the Bulls led at every change to record a terrific victory and their second of the season against the reigning premiers, 17.11 (113) to 13.10 (88). “We didn’t allow them to kick too many consecutive goals and we were always able to find a way to answer back,” Johnson said. “They kept us pretty honest in the third quarter but kicking against the breeze in the last, we were able to find our way through and manufacture some score. “It’s probably been about 20 years since Mt Barker were 5-2 (win-loss) so it’s a long time but the boys are moving along nicely, there’s a good vibe around the club and the energy is up.” Bulls veteran Sam Lehmann set the tone early for the home side, kicking four goals in the first quarter to open an early 19-point margin at the opening break. Tigers’ Matt Palfrey and Fraser Grant both slotted a goal each to bring the visitors within touching distance but the Bulls kept finding answers, as star ball winner Zach Jackson, youngster Ben Kirkwood and the returning Kyle Smith added goals in the second term. Palfrey moved into the middle after half-time to try and wrestle back control for the Tigers and both sides managed two goals in the third but the home side held a 20-point advantage at the last change. Despite the Tigers ramping up their pressure in the fourth quarter, the Bulls held firm and outscored their opponents five goals to four to notch their fifth win of the season and sit second on the ladder. Lehmann (six goals) was among the home side’s best players, along with Zach Jackson (three goals), who spent time forward and through the midfield. Lee Pavlovich was superb in reading the play as part of the Bulls’ well-drilled defensive brigade, while ruckman David Stone and Steven Scott (three goals) were also key figures in the result. Stone won the Talk To A Mate Round match ball, judged best-afield by the umpires. Johnson said it was pleasing to see his side weather the storm in the face of a strong Tigers outfit. “When they added some pressure on us in the last quarter, we were able to just stabilise and deny them the ball for periods and then score off the back of that, it was just a really gutsy, tough game of footy,” he said. “We controlled the play for most of the day, we got off to a good start and we were accurate in front of goal, which set us up for a really good first and second half.” Palfrey (five goals) was the Tigers’ best contributor while the visitors were also well-served by midfield pair Jayden Scott and Logan Stubber and playmaker Mitch Green. Tigers coach Mark Bayliss said he was disappointed in the outcome but acknowledged they were up against a strong Bulls outfit. “They played well and got on top us early and never really gave up the lead from there,” he said. “They’ve done really well in bringing players in, they’ve recruited some great players and I think they (Bulls) will be in the top two this year. “We’re hopefully going to be bringing in some new players in the coming weeks, so we’ll see how we go.” On the injury front, Tigers forward Zak Hortin went off the ground with a hamstring injury while the Bulls’ Scott Price left the game with an upper body injury.