Ararat were able to withstand the challenge of facing the Horsham Demons on the road in wet, blistery conditions to come away 13 point winners.
The victory sees the Rats head into their bye on top of the ladder, undefeated after eight rounds.
Ararat head coach Matt Walder said he was "really pleased" his team was able to respond after being 15 points down in the first quarter.
"We had to respond to Horsham who were definitely up for the fight," he said.
"The best part was we were forced to play catch up and play from behind to find a way to win, which was the first time of the year we have done that.
"Usually we have led at half time or three quarter time either comfortably or by a reasonable margin but Saturday was a challenge right from the word go."
Walder said he was proud of his team's effort and fortitude in the tough conditions.
"Cody Lindsay was terrific in the ruck all day, it was a one man show there," he said.
"Tom Mills played well up forward and then we swung him through the middle and he responded well there, we were able to free him up but also able to open up the forward line.
"Jordan Cox (two goals) was really good and Liam Arnott played well in his first game back."
Key forwards Corey Taylor and Jordan Cox top scored for Ararat kicking two goals.
Adam Haslett provided another option for Ararat across half forward, Luke Spalding held his own down back and Matthew Hutchesson was a brute through the midfield.
Horsham flew out of the blocks kicking the first 15 points of the game before Ararat wrestled back the momentum to go into the first break one point down.
The Demons inaccuracy cost them in the second term, although they extended their lead to six at the half time.
The third quarter belonged to the Rats as they were able to kick two goals to one reducing the margin to one point heading into the last quarter.
Ararat broke away early in the last quarter to snatch the lead and were able to hold on in a tense last five minutes.
Earlier in the day Ararat's Reserves fell to Horsham by 28 points.
Nick Oliver top scored for the Rats with four goals, while Luke Briggs showed promising signs in the ruck Angus Burns was a rock in defence.
The Demons got off to a quick start and never looked back finishing the match 11.12.78 - 8.2.50 winners.
On the netball court it was Horsham who got the better of Ararat in the battle of the top two A Grade sides.
Laney McLoughlan top scored for Ararat with 15 goals, while Racquel Scott and Hayley Holmes were named the best players for the Rats in the 16 goal loss.
In B Grade the fourth placed Ararat defeated the second placed Horsham Demons by three goals.
Emily Borelli was the pick of the shooters with 19 goals, Danieka Clayton scored 10 goals and Annie Shea scored nine goals.
Annie Shea and Ebony Dowling were named the best players for Ararat in the upset victory.
In C Grade Horsham defeated Ararat by seven goals with Bianca Kettle top scoring with 21 goals.
There was no C Reserve match played against the Horsham Demons.
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