A resurgent final quarter lifted Minyip-Murtoa to victory against the Horsham Saints in the opening round of the Wimmera Football League on Saturday.
The Horsham Saints lead the game for the entirety of the first three quarters, until the lights at Murtoa Recreation Reserve took full effect and the Burras fought back.
Minyip-Murtoa kicked three unanswered goals to start the last quarter and defended well, restricting an otherwise free-scoring Horsham Saints to only seven points.
The Burras' coach John Delahunty was a stalwart in defense and said he was proud of his team's resilience.
"Really happy with that one, we were under the pump early and they are a strong defensive side, so it was really pleasing to grind away," he said.
Sam Jasper got his Horsham Saints off to a flying start, kicking a goal in the opening minutes. Jasper went on to score another two goals in the first quarter to see his team in front at the break; the score 23-12.
The game was tight throughout the second term as the two teams dusted off the cobwebs. Both teams scored two goals apiece, as the Horsham Saints went into the second half with a seven point lead.
Delahunty said his team was guilty of making opening round mistakes that the Horsham Saints didn't capatilise on fully.
"We just needed to back our structures in, we went away from it a little bit and they took control of the game. We sort of got on our terms in patches, but we needed to trust our planning," he said.
As the sun set in the third quarter of the twilight game, the Burras found ways to keep themselves in the contest.
A late Corey Morgan goal gave Minyip-Murtoa momentum heading into the final term with the score 61-53, in favour of the Horsham Saints.
The Burras were dominant in the final term and manged to string some nice passages of play together, with new recruit Tim MacKenize influential in the comeback.
"We had him playing in the midfield but when the game swayed we threw him back and he really steadied the ship for us there," Delahunty said.
Horsham Saints coach Luke Fisher provided a late scare with a tidy goal in the closing minutes, but the Burras saw out the game to be nine point victors.
Meanwhile Dimboola started their season with a drought-breaking win against Nhill. After winning only two games in the past three seasons, eight goals in the second quarter inspired the Roos to a 20 point victory. Coach Justin Beugelaar said the performance meant a lot to the club.
"We're just proud of what we've been building in the pre-season and the way the boys dealt with that today. The big thing for us was the enthusiasm it drew around the club,' he said.
"Having the old fellas at the game today, you could just see what it meant at full time and at half time. Going forward, it's a real positive."
Ararat also held off a late surge from the Warrack Eagles to win by 20 points.
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