Some contentious calls created a difficult contest for Ararat against Minyip-Murtoa at Alexandra Oval on Saturday.
The Rats were stay within touching distance of the Burras at points but could never reel them in enough.
The home side won the second and drew the last quarter in competitive patches but were unable to do it for four quarters.
Ararat A Grade coach Donna Spalding said “unusual calls” from the officials had her team playing differently.
“Everyone was a little on edge,” she said.
An 11-goal three-quarter-time deficit proved too much for Ararat, finishing behind 52-41.
“Last time we played them we only scored 22 goals so to score 41 shows how much we have improved,” Spalding said.
“I told the girls to hold their heads up high because they played a good game of netball.”
Spalding said a few individuals stood out for her side.
“Jess Williamson had a great game, she used her agility and passed beautifully,” Spalding said.
“Krystal Fisher used her reach and kept us in the game at crucial times too.”
The Rats slip out of the top three following the loss, now two points back from the Burras.
They face a tough task against Horsham next week before taking on bottom-placed Nhill and then enjoying the bye.