Round seven of the Wimmera Football Netball League senior football saw Ararat cement itself as the premiership favourite.
In a battle of the final two undefeated teams, the Rats scraped home with a 79-75 win over Minyip-Murtoa.
The loss is just the Burras second since the start of 2019 and will no doubt instill belief in the Rats that they can go all the way in 2022.
Rats coach Corey Taylor - who was filling in for an ill Matt Walder - was impressed with his charges efforts against a proven opposition.
"We knew we were going to be challenged by Minyip even though we did get out to a 25-point lead, we knew that they weren't going to roll over," Walder said.
"The character from the boys to stick fat and hold on until the last second, was huge.
"I couldn't be prouder from that perspective."
The Rats raced out of the blocks to lead the Burras 27-2 at quarter-time.
Early in the second quarter, the Burras registered their first goal of the match which seemed to kick them into gear.
Sloppy disposals and inaccurate kicking began to hurt the Rats as the Burras upped their pressure and started converting their chances.
A large percentage of the second quarter was played in the Burras' forward line, but to the Rats' credit their defence held strong and the addition of two goals of their own, saw them take a 39-28 lead into the main break.
The third-quarter was a tight affair and with one quarter remaining the Rats were in front 64-49.
In the end the Rats' 15 point buffer proved too great for the Burras - whose 26 point surge in the final quarter left them four points short of victory.
Luke Spalding was named as the Rats' best player, while Luke Fisher was most impressive for the Burras.
In the remaining football matches Dimboola recorded a healthy 109-66 win over the Horsham Saints, Warrack accounted for Nhill 108-67 and Stawell defeated the Southern Mallee Giants 76-48.
In the A Grade netball the Roos defeated the Saints 54-46, the Rats triumphed over the Burras 48-40 and the Giants and the Warriors staged a thrilling 56-all draw.
Full WFNL results on pages 12-13.
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