FOR a second week in a row the Horsham Saints have drawn attention to their potential as a bolter in September, this time by inflicting Minyip-Murtoa’s first loss of the season.
The side put together a strong second half of football to over-run Minyip-Murtoa and record a 11.9 (75) to 8.10 (58) victory.
Saints coach Luke Fisher said the win instilled more belief.
“It gives everyone a bit of confidence that we can do it,” he said.
“In terms of a good win it didn’t come easy. We had to earn our goals. Minyip-Murtoa are still are a good side and hard to beat.”
Early in the contest there was little sign of the one-way traffic that allowed the Burras to romp to an 89-point win against the Saints in round 10.
The home team still started as favourites and a two-goal lead a quarter time seemed fitting.
Goals were tough to come in the second quarter as the defensive structures of both teams allowed them to repel attack after attack.
Eventually the sides managed 2.3 each as the 12-point margin was maintained at the major break.
Burras coach Damian Cameron said his side had set itself for a tough encounter.
“Early in the match we stuck to our game really well,” he said.
“We could have been a bit more ruthless when we were on top in those early stages though because we let the Saints still be in it at half-time.”
The Saints came out hot to start the third quarter. The side kicked the first three goals to edge in front before Minyip-Murtoa fought back into the contest.
Sam Clyne continued to lead the way through the midfield. With a quarter to play, the Saints found themselves in front by eight points.
Cameron said his players were too busy hunting for the ball during the second half.
“The Saints had a good mix of players hunting for the ball on the inside and then waiting to receive the ball on the outside,” he said.
“We had too many players in hunting for the ball, playing selfish football.”
Time and time again the Saints backline held up under duress and then turned defence into swift attack in the final quarter.
Despite giving away plenty of height Andy Devereaux jumped over the to repel the forward thrusts of the home team, allowing Angus Gove to rebound the ball well.
“We’ve got some terrific players that are giving away height each week and they just continue to jump over their opponents to rebound, run and carry,” Fisher said.
“It was Gove’s turn to rebound this week. Last week it was Devereaux and other weeks its Alexander McRae.
“When they’ve got the support because of better balance across the field they really stand out since the opposition can’t cover them.”
There was confusion at the end of the game when the final siren failed to sound. The game instead finished with a flurry of whistles and waves with the Saints 17 points ahead.
Daniel Souter also battled hard all day against three different opponents in the ruck, with Dennis Adams missing from the side with injury.
Jae McGrath kicked another five goals for the Burras and was a clear standout, while Clint Midgely put in a strong performance in defence.
“Ollie Young also provided us with a lot of rebound off half-back and was also good at half-forward,” Cameron said. “Everyone else other than those three can be a little disappointed in the role they played.”
Minyi-Murtoa’s loss means the Wimmera Football League minor premiership is still up for grabs. The winner of the round 16 clash between the Burras and Horsham Demons will earn the first week of finals off.