Montagna draws a crowd
Ararat will elevate its guns to line up a target further to the north-west in Wimmera Football League later this month after recording one of its best starts to a season in years.
The Rats are scheduled to take on Horsham Saints in a round-two road trip to Coughlin Park on April 28 after scoring a comprehensive Good Friday win against Stawell.
Ararat was too good for the visiting Warriors in the one-off season opener at Alexandra Oval, running away with the contest to win by 83 points.
It was a big seven-goal second quarter that established a winning break for the Rats, who had been on the hunt for a profound start to the season in efforts to break free of a growing threat of mediocrity.
Players such as Jake Williamson, on the ball, Jack Ganley, Tyler Cronin and Zach Louder all played integral roles in the victory and Ben Free and Cooper Heard kicked three goals each.
The clash, the only football fixture in the region, attracted a big crowd, estimated to be in the several thousands, with many coming to watch former St Kilda star Leigh Montagna play in a one-off game in the red and white.
Montagna showed patches of the class that won him an expansive reputation in the AFL and also kicked a goal.
Stawell, meanwhile, will now have five weeks to regroup until finally getting back into homeand-away action in a home game against Nhill on May 5. The Warriors, as well as having to contend with the expanses of the Ararat oval first up, were also missing prize recruit and former AFL player Jack Anthony with a minor injury complaint and a few other key players.
But Jackson Dark stood tall and Sam Williams, and three-goal David Andrivon were good during the contest.
Ararat president David Jennings said the Good Friday fixture had been a resounding success.
“We’ve embraced it, so has Stawell and crowd said they wanted it as well, voting with their feet. It shows that we have to think outside the square more and keep exploring ways to attract people to our footy,” he said.
“It was good during the game and afterwards and gaining the services of Leigh Montagna was a successful exercise that I’m sure more than paid for itself. He did everything expected of him and more. Nothing was too hard for him – he was great for the players, the public, everyone. He was very popular.”
• The next Wimmera round-one match will feature Warrack Eagles and Southern Mallee Giants on April 14.
SUCCESSFUL VISIT: Former AFL and St Kilda star Leigh Montagna lines up for goal while representing Ararat in a Wimmera Football League Good Friday match at Alexandra Oval. Montagna also took part in club training sessions and gatherings as part of his...