Ararat Rats' football and netball teams suffered defeat in close matches against Dimboola on Saturday, May 8.
The seniors had claimed their first win of the season in round three with a fantastic victory over Horsham but could not replicate the feat against Dimboola, losing 9.7 (61) to 12.13 (85).
Senior team coach Matthew Walder said Dimboola profited from starting the stronger of the two teams.
"We were playing 'catch-up footy' for most of the day. They kicked the first couple and we responded but we found it hard against good opposition to close the gap," he said.
"Every time we got close, they responded. That was sought of the nature of the game all the way through.
"But we hung in there to the end and fought it out. We were still in it until the last quarter, they just had enough in reserve to finish us off."
Walder noted some standout performers for the Rats.
"Baydn Cosgriff was good at centre-half-back, Cody Lindsay in the ruck was terrific, Tom Mills in the middle, and Brody Griffin was good again down the wing," he said.
Walder said despite the loss, the team had shown considerable progress since its opening day loss to Stawell.
"There certainly has been a significant improvement from round one to round four," he said.
"The sky is the limit still for this young group, and if they keep engaging and responding who knows what can happen over the course of the year."
The Rats will have an excellent chance to double their points tally in round five, as they take on Warrack Eagles, who are still searching for their first win of the season.
Ararat's A Grade netballers lost to Dimboola 30-34 in a to and fro contest.
The match was close throughout, with Ararat holding a one-goal lead heading into the final quarter. However, Dimboola outscored Ararat 12-7 in the last period deny the Rats.
It is the third match Ararat has played in this season, where the margin of victory has been 10-points or fewer.
Warrack Eagles will likely prove a difficult opposition for Ararat in round five, having become the first team this season to defeat an otherwise imperious Horsham side on Saturday.
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