Tight squeeze for top-five places
Abattle for places in Wimmera Football League’s top five is well underway as the competition breaks this weekend for community championship commitments.
Reigning premier Horsham has a fourpoint break on the field after four rounds and Minyip-murtoa and Ararat are hotly in pursuit in second and third spots respectively. Only percentage separates teams sitting fourth to seventh.
Southern Mallee Giants rebounded strongly on the end of back-to-back losses, beating Ararat by 39 points at the weekend.
The Giants jumped the Rats at Beulah, establishing more than a five-goal lead at quarter time, and were well on top before a big last-quarter comeback from the visitors.
Lou White, Kai Forsyth and Sam Weddell led the Giants’ efforts and Nick O’farrell kicked four goals.
Dan and Nick Mendes won best-player honours for the Rats and Ben Free kicked four of his team’s 10 goals.
Horsham maintained its winning form against Warrack Eagles, but only after a major test at Warracknabeal.
The Demons parried with the Eagles all day and finally secured a 20-point victory.
John Wood shone, as did Ben Lakin, Brad Hartigan and Brodie Mines for the winners and Ryan Kemp bagged four six-pointers. Nick Peters was again a standout for the Eagles, Shannon Argall impressed and Chris Kellett won votes. Coach Ryan Mckenzie kicked three goals.
Minyip-murtoa also notched up another win, but only after it, too, endured a tough test, against Nhill.
The final scores showed the Burras winning by 31 points, but the visitors were behind at the last change at Davis Park and responded by producing a seven-goal final term.
Kieran Delahunty, seven, and Jae Mcgrath, five, kicked 12 goals between them for the winners as coach Damian Cameron and John and Jordan Delahunty provided the oomph to get their team over the line.
Tim Bone’s Tigers missed the opportunity to snare a major scalp despite the efforts of Stephen Craig, Mitch Borgelt and Jess Morano.
It was another big final-quarter effort that also secured Horsham Saints an awkward win over Stawell at Horsham’s Coughlin Park.
The Saints appeared well on the way to kick themselves out of the game, having 1.10 on the board to Stawell’s 5.8 by half time.
But the home side, led by Jacob O’beirne, Xander Mcrae, Sam Clyne and Kieran Priestley, gathered momentum in the second half and prevented the Warriors from kicking any more goals.
An eight-goal final term sealed the deal for the Saints.
Naish Mcroberts, Jackson Dark, Tom Taurau and Sean Mantell flew the flag for the Warriors.
GOING NOWHERE: A diving tackle from Horsham Saints’ Ben Martin forces the ball from the hands of Stawell’s Todd Matthews in Wimmera Football League, and above left, Stawell’s Koby Stewart and Horsham Saints’ James Lang tangle for the ball at Horsham’s...