By Gabriel Tan
The Tigers defeated Courts Young Lions 1-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday thanks to a 90th-minute winner from Kim Min-ho to be crowned winners of the plate, which was contested between the four bottom-placed sides from the group stages.
And while such silverware is a distant cry from the top honours Singaporean football has to offer, Balestier assistant coach Kevin Wee is hoping they can carry their winning form when they resume Great Eastern-YEO's S.League action.
"Despite the victory, the objective of the playing in the plate competition was to prepare for when we get back to playing in the S.League," he said.
"That didn't change even though there was a trophy to be won.
"It [the victory] means we go into the last seven games of the league campaign with added spirit."
Wee did admit Balestier could have wrapped up the game before the break after creating several good chances they failed to put away, and praised Kim for staking his claim for a regular starting berth with a well-taken goal.
"In the first half, we had five to six chances and we could have won the game by halftime," he added.
"In the end, we left it till the end and it was a good goal by Kim.
"He has always been regarded as part of our first-team squad and he definitely adds firepower to our attack based on his current form."
Despite the defeat, Young Lions coach Robin Chitrakar was pleased with the spirit his charges showed for the full 90 minutes.
"We played okay but we showed that we really wanted to win," the former Singapore international said.
"The boys fought to the end and created enough chances, but it was a mistake in the last minute when we gave the ball away in our own half that allowed them [Balestier] to capitalise.
"I'm disappointed we didn't win but the boys gave it their best, and applied what we did in training."
And while the loss left Young Lions still searching for their first piece of silverware in what is now their 10th season in Singapore's top flight, Chitrakar remains upbeat they are on the right track.
"We will get one [a trophy] for sure," he enthused. "It's only a matter of time."
Balestier return to league action on August 23 when they entertain Geylang United, while Young Lions have a bye that week, meaning their next game will be against the Tigers again the following Friday.