THE Horsham Demons will head into their first bye of the season undefeated and two wins clear on top of the ladder after comfortably accounting for Ararat.
Following a sluggish start the Demons turned the game during the second and third quarter before going on to register a 16.12 (108) to 10.11 (71) victory on Saturday.
Horsham coach Deek Roberts said the win was massive for his side.
“The feeling is great in this group,” he said. “We celebrate our goals just like we celebrate our wins. We know things aren’t always going to go our way but it’s really rewarding when we put in to get a win like this.”
Early in the contest it looked as though the Rats had their mind set on notching another upset win. The side kicked the opening two goals of the contest as it dominated a battle for territory.
As the quarter progressed the visitors worked back into the contest but trailed at quarter-time by a solitary kick despite falling well behind on the inside-50 count.
Momentum swung massively during the second quarter as it was Horsham’s turn to repeatedly move the ball inside 50. A run of three quick goals midway through the term saw the side surge into the lead.
“We’ve been challenged every game this season,” Roberts said. “To respond to that early challenge by kicking five in that second quarter was unbelievable. It took pressure and hard work by playing for one another.”
Late Ararat goal allowed the home side to remain within seven-points at the half-time but Horsham came up even hungrier after the main break.
Roberts had asked his sides for a big 30 minutes of football and it duly delivered. Ararat created early opportunities before another three quick goals – this time to Jordyn Burke, Ryan Kemp and Rhona Conboy – allowed the Demons to skip ahead. Burke added another two for the quarter as well as creating a number of other opportunities as the Horsham midfield continually outworked Ararat’s.
“Our onballers finally got our act together – myself included,” Roberts said. “We put it to each other that we weren’t good enough in the first quarter then we stepped it up, won a few clearances and things turned our way.”
At the final break the Demons led by 37 points and a weary Ararat that had been playing a man down for most of the game had no way of coming back.
Both sides managed 3.2 in the final quarter with the Demons having earned a well-deserved rest.
“There are at least seven of us – if not the whole list – that need that rest,” Roberts said.
There were injury concerns for both sides after the match with Ararat’s Jayden Wright and Horsham’s Billy Carberry both failing to finish the game.
Wright dislocated his shoulder in the first quarter while a very groggy Carberry had to helped from the ground and later taken to hospital by ambulance midway through the final term.