ONE dominant quarter from Ararat again proved decisive as it accounted for arch rival Stawell for the second time this season at Alexandra Oval, Ararat, on Sunday.
A nine-goal final term was the catalyst for the Rats’ win in round two, while a seven-goal-to-one second term propelled the host to a 37-point win at the weekend.
Rats high-flyer Beau Cosson starred up forward, kicking six goals in the 14.11 (95) to 8.10 (58) triumph.
Rats coach David Hosking said it was an important result for his side – securing back-to-back victories – against a competitive Warriors outfit.
“Winning’s always a good habit to get into,” he said.
“We were definitely the better team on the day but I don’t think they’re far away.”
Defenders Brady Miller and Peter Thompson both played important roles in the win, while prolific ball-winner Dan Mendes bounced back from a quiet opening term to continue his brilliant Wimmera league season debut.
Up forward, Cosson was assisted by fellow talls Matt North and Liam Cavanagh, who both kicked two goals.
Hosking said his side had done enough to claim the points, but he and fellow coach Andrew Louder were not completely happy with the performance.
“We had a lot of serviceable players – guys who played good games – but I don’t think our blokes finished the game off all that well,” he said.
“We were reasonably happy with our defensive effort in the first quarter and in the one quarter when we had the wind, we kicked 7.4 to their 1.2.
“But I thought Stawell probably finished the game off as well as us, if not better.”
The Warriors will take some positives out of the match – including winning the first and third terms – but coach Brad Cassidy said his side would rue its application in the second quarter.
“It was really just the second quarter that let us down,” he said.
“That’s been a bit of a concern for us all year – at stages we’ve let opposition sides score heavily against us.
“We’ve spoken about it, but it unfortunately happened again.”
But Cassidy said the response from his side after half-time was pleasing.
“It could have quite easily gone the other way after half-time, but the players fought it out and we did have some good passages of play,” he said.
Midfielders Aidan Potter and Cam Kimber again led the way for the Warriors, while ex-Brisbane Lion and North Ballarat VFL player Matt Austin also impressed in the three quarters he played.
“Matt was in our best players list – there’s no doubt about that,” Cassidy said.
“It was his first game in nine weeks and I was really pleased with this effort – he was that class above in terms of reading the play.
“He doesn’t fumble much and I thought the guys fed off him.”
Cassidy said the Warriors would look to rebound as it chased its second win for the season against Nhill on Saturday.
“We’re coming off a five-day break and we’ve got to be as fresh as we can mentally and physically for Nhill,” he said.
“I have no doubt they’ll set themselves for this game to get their first win of the year.”