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12 May 2021
By DEAN LAWSON
Hard-fought wins to Stawell and Dimboola in Wimmera football league on Saturday have provided the perfect build-up for a telling clash between the two at Stawell’s Central Park this Saturday.
Stawell sneaked across the line in a two-point thriller over fancied Southern Mallee Giants last week, while Dimboola managed to keep Ararat at arm’s length to secure a 24-point victory.
The results allowed the Warriors and Roos to maintain their unbeaten status four weeks into the home-and-away fixture and ensured a high degree of top-five uncertainty as teams pushed deeper into the season.
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Stawell appeared in strife early against a Giants side that took winning form against Minyip-Murtoa in their previous game into last weekend’s contest.
It was more than three goals down at the first change and still trailing by 13 points as players walked to the sheds at half time.
But fortunes changed in the second half as the Warriors chipped away while the Giants accumulated a string of minor scores that left the visitors in arrears by two points at three-quarter time.
The contest then became a test of wills with Stawell prevailing despite the Giants having eight more scoring opportunities for the game.
The result was huge for a Stawell side that to some degree, after having comfortable wins against Warrack Eagles, Nhill and Ararat – way back on Good Friday, would have been unsure about its potential against the pace-setters.
Cody Driscoll kicked four critical goals, while Jackson Dark and Jamie Bach won votes and others such as Bailey Taylor, Paul Summers and Charlie Nield impressed.
Dimboola will consider a win over the Warriors a ‘scalp’, so far having wins over Horsham Saints and Nhill, and Ararat at the weekend.
The Roos maintained a handy break on the visiting Rats and had Jack Landt, who kicked five goals, in great touch.
Mitch Jorgensen also bagged five, while Jayden Lehmann, slick Matt Rosier, Tom Cree and Brock Landt led the way.
Horsham Saints were also winners, comfortably beating Nhill, and face perhaps their biggest test of the year this weekend against Minyip-Murtoa.
The Saints meet the Burras, who sat out with a bye, and would be still stung from a narrow loss to the Giants.
The tri-colours secured a winning break in the third term against the Tigers on the back of strong games from Gage Wright, Sam Clyne and Cody Helyar, while James Lang kicked three goals.
The smash-and-grab Saints rely heavily on rapid ball movement through light and agile runners and this weekend come up against the muscle of Minyip-Murtoa.
The Burras are sure to be hungry and determined to reclaim the 2021 team-to-beat tag.
Wimmera league’s top six is so far a traffic jam.
Ararat sits outside the top five but has suggested during the past couple of weeks it will influence the top half of the competition.
The Rats would rate their chances of beating Warrack Eagles this week, especially on the form of the likes of Tom Mills, Baydn Cosgriff and Brody Griffin. Codey Lindsay, Liam Arnott and Tom Cousins were also busy against the Roos.
Warrack Eagles, despite being winless and the subject of a leadership shuffle, threw plenty at Horsham last week and despite ultimately falling by 34 points, were in touch of the Demons for much of the game.
Players such as Dane Stewart, Jack Wilson and Charlie Penny were willing combatants and will again be important this weekend.
Nhill is another side that might be on the improve, although it will need to find more ways of turning midfield and defensive efforts into results on the scoreboard against the Giants this weekend.
The Tigers have accumulated a total of only 122 points in four games.
Nathan Alexander, Mitch Dahlenburg and Liam Albrecht have made a habit of flying the flag out west and provide an example of what the Tigers must produce.
The Giants would be kicking themselves after last weekend, especially with five-goal Brock Orval continuing to make his presence felt and Sam White, Cassidy Parish and Riley and Lucas Cook putting in solid games.
The Tigers will need to dig deep to stop the Giants.
The entire May 5, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!