SOUTHERN Mallee Giants took home an important four points when it defeated Ararat at Alexandra Oval on Saturday.
The Giants had a strong start and gained momentum throughout the game to come away 17.15 (117) to 11.8 (74) winners.
It was the Giants who got on top of the game early, kicking two goals in the first three minutes of the game.
Ararat came out of the quarter-time huddle ready to make amends and forced themselves into the lead after 10 minutes, the home team led 6.4 (40) to 5.5 (35).
The lead was short lived with the Giants capitalising on a clearance from the restart and scored immediately.
It was cagey for the remainder of the half, the Giants made a breakthrough in the final minutes of the game and scored two quick majors to be in the drivers seat when the siren sounded.
Giants performed outstandingly in the third quarter, the momentum had reached its peak for the Mallee outfit and the team scored five majors to all but seal Ararat’s fate.
The Rats didn’t give up in the final quarter and kicked the first two goals, the Giants responded and coach Coleman Schache put the icing on the cake when he kicked a goal on the final siren.
“It was good to get that win under our belt,” Schache said.
Schache said his team learnt from its round 12 win against Horsham that his players need to perform in all four quarters.
“I thought we defended well in the third quarter. We minimised their scoring,” he said.
“I thought we were moving the ball well all game and I just told the boys at the breaks to keep playing how we were playing. We just needed to clamp down on their scoring opportunities.”
Schache said he thought Haydn Drew and Jimmy Wray played strong games, Wray scored four goals and was named best on field.
Rats coach Shane Fisher said there were stages in the game where the Giants could have “pulled our pants down”.
“For what we could put on the park, after losing Jack Ganley and a few other blokes during the week, I think our system tried to combat the Giants,” he said.
“Across the board I think the Giants are the most lethal team in the Wimmera league, and we will see how that plays out as the year goes.”
Fisher said he was happy with the persistence his team displayed.
“In the first half we were level in inside 50s. We were getting enough of the ball but probably let ourselves down by our entry and the way we were leading and attacking the footy up forward,” he said. “We addressed those things at half time.”