Horsham 102 d Ararat 86
HORSHAM sits on top of the ladder as the league’s only undefeated team after a come-from-behind 16-point victory over Ararat at Horsham City Oval on Saturday.
Both sides went into the match undefeated, with the lead changing hands at each interval.
However, it was the Demons who stood tall late, overturning a 10-point final-quarter deficit to record a 15.12 (102) to 12.14 (86) win.
Demons coach Jordyn Burke said his side’s experience in close games this season might have had an impact.
“Having every game be such a pressure-cooker over the past month has helped I would say – we had that little bit of resolve to back each other in and not panic,” he said.
“At half-time we were up, but they kept their nose in front for most of the second half and we won a few crucial contests late in the game and were able to finish it off.
“We were really happy with the win. It was a really good high-level game of footy – everything we expected.”
Burke heaped praise on key forward Sean Christopher, who kicked five goals in a best-on-ground performance.
“Sean was fantastic up forward – he kicked five and late in the game he took a couple of nice marks,” he said.
Burke also chipped in with three majors, with half-forward John Wood and young defenders Billy Lloyd and Rhona Conboy among the home side’s best.
Ararat coach David Hosking said his side had its opportunities to win the game.
“We weren’t quite good enough,” he said.
“I thought they deserved the win, they were a bit better than us on the day.
“I think we led until about the 20-minute mark of the last quarter and we had our chances to win, but we didn’t take them and they made us pay.”
Midfield duo Daniel Mendes and Aaron Searle were named the Rats’ best, while defender Jake Williamson and forward Liam Cavanagh also performed strongly.
Beau Cosson kicked four goals for the visitors and Tyler Cronin three.
Hosking said his side – which was missing a number of first-choice players – still needed to improve.
“Our view is we put up a spirited display, but we’ve got to get better,” he said.
“I think we have got room for improvement, and we will need to improve.”