THE Ararat senior football team suffered its first loss of the season over the weekend when it faced the Horsham Saints.
The round four Wimmera League match was played in Horsham, where the Rats lost by a slim margin.
The final score was 64 to 61.
Seniors coach Shane Fisher commended the Saints on their game.
"Horsham Saints played super well - their best players played well and their young kids all stood up," he said.
"All credit to their pressure and link up."
Fisher also reflected on the effort of his own side.
"We had a bad one," he said.
"A lot of players didn't fire but that can happen in football when the opposition put a lot of pressure on you.
"We need to be accountable and improve and fix things in the coming weeks."
Fisher said his boys still have a lot to learn and have a lot of work to do still.
"We need to be fitter and work better with the ball to push towards being classed as one of the top sides," he said.
"There are a few sides still more advanced than us no doubt so far this year.
"It's a very competitive year and by other results this weekend, if you area not on your game you will lose."
Saints senior coach Luke Fisher said the side could visualise itself in the finals after beating Ararat.
"It gives us a bit of belief," he said.
"Ararat are probably going into the season as one of the favourites to be here right in the finish. They were in the mix last year so it's good for us to show that if they think they are contenders, there's no reason to think we can't be.
"We just needed to have that belief, which we hadn't had in the last few weeks."
The Saints lost rounds one and two, and had the bye in round seven.
"We just started (this match) really well," Fisher said.
"We wanted to make sure there was plenty of intensity and make sure we were really positive, and we did that.
"Everyone was on board with that. We just didn't want to have any passengers or anything and it worked really well."
Fisher said although the game was very physical, thanks to the tight margins, it was played in good spirits.
"Reports from people on the sidelines said that it was a really good game to watch," he said.
"The play was end to end stuff.
"Michael Rowe was really good in the ruck. He did a good job all day, and Jacob O'Beirne was really good down in the back."
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