Warrack Eagles 102 d Ararat 87
WARRACK Eagles have recorded their third consecutive win, accounting for Ararat by 15 points at Anzac Park, Warracknabeal, on Saturday.
The hosts could not completely fight off the Rats, but their 14.18 (102) to 13.9 (87) victory sees them return to the top of the ladder after the first half of the split round 13.
The Eagles led by just a point at quarter-time, before kicking four goals to one in the second quarter to lead by 24 points at the major break.
Ararat reduced the margin by two points by three-quarter-time, before kicking 3.6 to the Eagles’ 2.5 in the final quarter.
Eagles coach Tim Inkster said it was a game his side deserved to win against determined opposition.
“It was a bit of a grind all day really,” he said.
“We managed to keep them at arm’s length without ever putting them away.”
Inkster said inaccuracy in front of goal possibly cost his side a more convincing win.
“We were just a little bit off,” he said.
“There were times when we were able to control the game for a bit but never put them away. We missed a lot of easy set shots.
“The game might have turned out differently if we had gotten five or six goals in front instead of two or three.”
Inkster highlighted defenders Dale Hinkley and Dalton Jaensch and forward Jack Wilson among his side’s best performers.
Wilson finished with three goals, while Jake Peters, Peter Weir and Inkster kicked two each.
Aaron Searle led the way with four goals for Ararat, while fellow midfielder Dan Mendes kicked three and Jack Ganley two.
For the visitors, it was a much improved performance after convincing defeats against Horsham Saints, Minyip-Murtoa and Horsham.
Coach David Hosking said it was a step in the right direction.
“While we didn’t win, we’re certainly getting closer to playing the footy we were at the start of the year,” he said.
“It’s not quite where we want it to be but, considering our form has been patchy, I think we took a step in the right direction.”
Hosking said Ganley was outstanding at centre-half forward, while Jake Robinson impressed in his second senior game for the season.
Key forward Beau Cosson spent most of the match on a wing, while fellow tall forward Liam Cavanagh lined up at centre-half back on Weir.
The result leaves the Rats with four consecutive losses and teetering on the brink of the top five.
A win for Dimboola against Nhill on Saturday would see the Roos enter the top five at the Rats’ expense, before the sides line up against each other in a fortnight’s time.