Good Fri­day, good foot­ball

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY DEAN LAWSON

Just how ‘good’ Good Fri­day will be for ei­ther Stawell or Ararat this week­end will de­pend how both fare in a big Wim­mera Foot­ball League clash this week.

The arch ri­vals rarely fail to dis­ap­point in bat­tles of the Great Di­vide but if one thing is for sure, Fri­day will be a good day for Wim­mera foot­ball.

The match at Stawell’s North Park is the only con­test within cooee of any other coun­try fix­ture with other Wim­mera league games and neigh­bour­ing leagues hav­ing a spell for Easter.

This should guarantee a big and en­thu­si­as­tic crowd in what rep­re­sents the start of a clas­sic Easter of sport in Stawell.

The teams will ap­proach the game af­ter hav­ing mixed re­sults in the league opener at the week­end.

Ararat is com­ing off a test­ing win over War­rack Ea­gles while Stawell came off sec­ond best but was far from dis­graced against South­ern Mallee Giants.

Ararat sparred with the de­ter­mined Ea­gles for much of its con­test at Alexan­dra Oval, lead­ing at ev­ery change and se­cur­ing its first four points of the sea­son with a 19-point win.

There were plenty of fa­mil­iar names dot­ted through the Rats’ best-player list at the end of the game, with Dan

Men­des lead­ing the votes and Jack Gan­ley and Ryan Bates catch­ing at­ten­tion.

An abil­ity to con­vert good play into goals looms as crit­i­cal this sea­son and the Rats had Tom Mills, three goals, and Lachie Hamil­ton, four, lead­ing the charge in front of the sticks.

Stawell has played too many games against the Rats to be in­tim­i­dated by form. The War­riors are at home but away from their nor­mal head­quar­ters at Cen­tral Park, the sub­ject of prepa­ra­tions for the Stawell Gift.

The War­riors had the tough job of trav­el­ling to Beu­lah to play an ex­pected pace-set­ter first up, and de­spite ini­tial fears af­ter the open­ing term, were more than com­pet­i­tive.

The War­riors gave the Giants a four­goal lead at quar­ter time but man­aged to haul their op­po­nents in, trail­ing by only three points at the half.

There was still lit­tle in it by the last change, but in the end the home side surged ahead to score a 32-point win.

Stawell fans would have been im­pressed by the ef­forts of tal­ented Tom Eckel, Sean Man­tell and Tom Tau­rau while Jay Moody led goal-scor­ing ef­forts with three six-point­ers.

The sea­son is still too young to call an ob­vi­ous favourite for Fri­day’s game but his­tory sug­gests it should be close. Ra­dio sta­tion 3WM and its Lo­cal Footy Live team will call the ac­tion from the game. The other teams, just af­ter blow­ing out the cob­webs will get another spell un­til ac­tion re­sumes with an An­zac Day clash on April 25 be­tween Hor­sham and Hor­sham Saints.

Roos on the board

In other re­sults from the week­end, Dim­boola and Minyip-mur­toa en­joyed suc­cess.

In a clash ded­i­cated to men’s health at Nhill, Dim­boola pre­vailed, scor­ing a 21-point win over the Tigers.

Dim­boola broke away with a big and ul­ti­mately match-win­ning eight­goal sec­ond term be­fore hold­ing off a com­mit­ted Nhill sec­ond-half chal­lenge.

Dim­boola is ex­pect­ing plenty from re­cruits this sea­son, and it was play­ers such as Matthew Rosier, Sam God­den and Fraser Jen­nings lead­ing the way.

Coach Justin Beuge­laar was also good along­side Chris Miller and Dan Garner and Mitch Jor­gensen bagged four goals.

For the Tigers Scott Hughes kicked six goals while Jake Har­rap and Matt Mc­cal­lum, three goals, won club votes.

Minyip-mur­toa’s nine-point win against the Saints at Mur­toa would have boosted the Bur­ras’ early stocks in con­fi­dence and per­haps steeled the vis­it­ing tri-colours for a big as­sign­ment against Hor­sham.

The Bur­ras had win­ners in Tim Mcintyre and gen­eral Luke Cham­ber­lain, while Gus Trethowan, Ben Mcintyre and Tim Macken­zie also won ac­co­lades. Jae Mcgrath kicked four goals.

TALL OR­DER: Dim­boola’s Dan Garner finds him­self matched up with Nhill gi­ant Bradley Graham at the week­end. Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER

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