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   Aug 24

Saints beat stoic Ararat

STRONG PERFORMANCE: Jacob Cooke-Harrison, pictured against Horsham, was impressive again on Saturday, kicking five goals in the Saints’ 16-point win over Ararat. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER
Nanjing Night Net

FIVE GOALS to Jacob Cooke-Harrison has helped Horsham Saints overcome a gallant Ararat on Saturday.

The Saints failed to capitalise on theirplay in the early stages and they fell behind by 10 points at the opening interval.

Strong second and third terms ensured the Saints took a 26-point lead into three-quarter-time, but they had to hang tough to survive one last Ratscharge.

The 14.10 (94) to 12.6 (78) victory keeps the Saints one game clear on top of the Wimmera league ladder.

The Rats remain comfortably in fourth spot, but have fallen two games behind Minyip-Murtoa and Horsham.

Saints coach Shayne Breuer said the Rats made gooduse of the breeze in the first term, while his side struggled to capitalise.

“It was a really good game for four quarters and it was a fairly even match,” he said.

“We couldn’t quite get away from them.”

Breuer said Cooke Harrison’s performance was one that had come to be expected.

“He was really good for us, but he’s been playing well every week,” he said.

Jacob O’Beirne was important for the Saints, while Xander McRae shut down dangerous Rat Beau Cosson, and Ben Martin played his best game for the seniors.

Pat Knottbooted three majors for the Saints in an impressive cameo, while Gav Kelm and Heath Watson chipped in with two goals each.

Rats coach David Hosking said he thought the scoreline flattered his side early in the contest.

“We got off to a good start, but I think the scoreboard flattered us a bit,” he said.

“They’d had twice as many inside 50s as us at quarter time and then it was the same at half time.

“Our view was we were sort of hanging in and making the most of our opportunites.

“We needed to change the inside 50 problem after half time and that was the challenge for our midfield.

“They deserved to win but we weren’t far behind them. To our credit, we lifted where we needed to.”

The Rats were well served by Ryan Bates and Jack Ganley.

Ganley snagged three majors, but Hosking labelled both their matches “terrific”.

“It’s good to seem them getting back to their best,” he said.

“Jake Robinson was very good as well.”

Harry Ganley, Justin Summons and Mick Fratin all chimed in with two goals

Hosking said the performance gave the group confidence it was heading in the right direction, in terms of competing against the strongest sides.

“I thought – in all fairness – we’d been a distant fourth on the ladder,” he said.

“But it does give us confidence that if we play well we’re in the mix.

“The key is to be able to play your best all the time, but that’s hard to do.

“The thing with Saints and Horsham and Minyip-Murtoa is more often than not, they play their best.”

The match was certainly tighter than the last time the two sides met, when the Saints beat the Rats by 103 points.

Shayne Breuer said he was not expecting a repeat performance, but was pleased his side continued to show consistency.

“We had a bit of a day out last time,” he said.

“We didn’t expect that to happen last time and we didn’t expect it this time either.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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