Horsham Saints fought back in a scrappy reserves elimination final to beat Ararat on Saturday.
Intermittent rain throughout the first term kept scores low, with neither side able to impact the scoreboard with a goal.
It was the Rats who had the first breakthrough in the second quarter, booting three goals to two to lead at half-time in a close one.
Ararat squandered opportunities to push the lead out, leaving the door open for the Saints to take the lead and for the first time take control of the match.
The Rats were unable to run with the Saints for the final term, with all energy sapped and hope sucked away by a clinical Saints unit, being kept scoreless in the final term.
“Our work rate lifted and we were more organised around and behind the footy after half-time,” Horsham Saints reserves coach Ben Knott said.
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The Saints won 7.6 (48) to 3.8 (26) to set up another qualifying final contest next weekend, with their opponents Minyip-Murtoa.
Knott said his side’s ability to play out four quarters shone through against the Rats.
“We always back our guys in to play out the whole match. They are quite good at getting rest and rotations then getting back and working hard on the ground,” he said.
Logan North was named as Ararat’s best player, while some big guys stood out for Knott from his side.
“Nathan McConnell at full back and Richard Bansemer in the ruck stood up,” he said.
“Zach Smith continued his magnificent form and showed his great speed.
“After half-time it was a great group effort.”