A small piece of history was written when Ararat prevailed in a physical contest against Southern Mallee Giants at Alexandra Oval on Saturday.
The Rats recorded their first ever win against the Giants, having fallen short on three occasions last year.
The home team showed no signs of sluggishness after two weeks off. They had a stranglehold on the Giants early on, as both teams established strong defensive setups.
Ararat kicked ahead in the first term, with ill-discipline proving costly for the Giants.
Giant Mitchell Gleeson earned himself a yellow card and proceeded to drop his Ararat opponent on the way to the bench, with the umpire then producing a red to send him off for the game.
Sam Weddell would later pick up a yellow as well. To go with the cards, the Giants gave away several downfield free kicks and 50 metre penalties which proved costly in the first half.
As the Giants imploded, Ararat capitalised to lead by 35 points at the main break, keeping the visitors goalless.
"In the first half we let ourselves down, that was not how we want to go about it," Giants coach Coleman Schache said.
"There's no excuses, we just need to be more disciplined. It cost us too because they ran all over us."
The Giants were able to find some composure after the main break, booting four goals in both the third and fourth terms, outscoring the Rats in the second half but falling short 11.5 (71) to 8.8 (56).
Rats coach Shane Fisher said he was pleased with the way his side prevented the Giants from gaining momentum in the third term.
"The really good sides find a way to get a goal straight back after conceding and I think we did that today," he said.
"Doing that you can really take some pressure off.
"We started well too which put is in a good spot to build from."
READ MORE: Rats continue undefeated A Grade run
The win takes the monkey off Ararat's back, having never beaten the Giants before Saturday.
"It gives a bit of belief that if you come against them in later in the year there's no 'you have never beaten this mob' before mentality," Fisher said.
"They had our measure last year, they were a lot stronger and at times pushed us off footy too easily. I think this time around we were able to be more physical and match them."
Both sides finished the match low on numbers, with injuries taking their toll.
Schache said seeing his side fight in the final term despite no rotations was a positive.
"Hopefully those guys who were hurt don't have anything too severe," he said.
"It was good to see the boys respond at the end but the damage had already been done - we needed to be better in first half.
"We turned the ball over a lot going forward so we will have to look at that."
The Rats retain their spot in the league's top two and will enjoy another week off next week, giving time for Jack Ganley, Aaron Pianta and Riley Taylor, who sustained minor injuries, to recover ahead of a big match against Horsham in two weeks.
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