HORSHAM Saints have reclaimed fifth place on the ladder with a convincing 29-goal win in their round 13 clash against Minyip-Murtoa at Coughlin Park on Saturday.
The Saints, who were sixth on percentage prior to the match, have moved ahead of Stawell, which will play reigning premier Horsham in the second half of the split round on Saturday.
On their home court, the Saints took control on the scoreboard early and won every quarter in their 54-25 triumph.
They led by nine points at the first change, 14 at half-time and 25 at the final break before increasing their lead by a further four goals in the last quarter.
Saints shooter Sharon Fedke had a day out, scoring a season-high 35 goals.
Wing defence Erin Mellington and wing attack Katelyn Ticchi were named the Saints’ best players.
The Burras were looking for their second win of the season after securing their first triumph since July 2012 in round 12.
But it was not to be, despite the best efforts of wing attack Tegan Kerrins and wing defence Jacinta Sheridan, who were named the visitors’ best players.
Both sides now have a two-week break before their next match.
If the Saints can beat fellow fifth-place contender Stawell at Central Park, it would be a big step towards securing finals action.
Ararat moved into top spot on the ladder with an equally convincing 22-goal win over third-placed Warrack Eagles at Anzac Park, Warracknabeal on Saturday.
The Rats, coming off an upset three-goal win over Horsham, continued their momentum and extended their winning streak to eight matches.
Shooter Megan Shea continued her fine form, converting 38 goals.
The Rats opened up a nine-goal advantage in the first quarter and carried on from there.
Keeper Tahnee Walker and wing defence Lauri Williamson were named the visitors’ best, with no Eagles shooter reaching double figures.
Centre Petah Winsall and defenders Penny Fisher and Claire Schulz were named the Eagles’ best players.
In order for the Rats to hold onto top position, Stawell will need to cause an upset and hand Horsham a second consecutive defeat.
The Demons will host the Warriors at Horsham City Oval as they look to bounce back from their first defeat since July 2012.
Dimboola will host Nhill at Dimboola Recreation Reserve.
A win for the fourth-placed Roos would all but make certain of a finals berth, but the Tigers could fancy their chances of causing an upset and claiming their first win of 2014.
When the sides met earlier this season, the Tigers rallied for a 52-all draw after trailing at every change.