Ararat Football Netball Club came up short against a formidable Southern Mallee Giants team in round nine of the Wimmera Football Netball League on Saturday, June 19.
The Seniors lost to the Giants at Beulah Recreation Reserve 14.10 (94) to 8.4 (52).
The Giants kicked five goals in the first quarter to establish a 23-point lead.
While Ararat rallied in the second quarter to reduce the lead, but the Giants still carried a 19-point advantage into the halftime break.
A dominant third quarter from the Giants then ensured the victory was firming in its grip.
Horsham's win against Dimboola means Ararat is pushed down to seventh on the ladder.
However, this position is deceptive, as the Rats are just four points (one win) behind fourth-placed Dimboola.
In round 10, Ararat will travel to Central Park to face Stawell.
The Warriors narrowly lost to Horsham Saints in round nine, meaning they no longer hold first place.
Ararat is also seventh in Wimmera Netball Association's A Grade.
The Rats gave an impressive showing as they narrowly lost 47-41 against an unbeaten Giants team.
It was the first time in the 2021 season Ararat had played its full side, as injuries in the earlier rounds plagued the team.
A Grade coach Rebecca Skrabl said she was pleased with the performance.
"Giants have been unbeaten and are on top of the ladder and we're seventh, so I'm actually pretty stoked," she said.
"After three weeks off I don't think the first half was our best; we were a little bit rusty. But we actually outscored them in the last half, so it would have been really interesting we'd come into the game on the back of a few other games."
It is the third time in 2021 Ararat has had the misfortune of losing by 10 goals or fewer.
The first occurrence was against Stawell in round one when the Warriors won 54-44.
Skrabl said she was excited for the team to meet again in round 10.
"They came into the season really strong and we took a while to settle but I think it's very much a different team they'll be facing this week, so I'm super pumped for it."
The Warriors are currently fourth on the ladder, with an equal amount of wins and losses but have lost their last two matches.
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