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07 April 2021
By DEAN LAWSON
Wimmera football coaches gearing up for an assault on a 2021 season would have been among spectators more than a little interested in the result of an ice-breaking Good Friday clash in Ararat.
They would have noted in last week’s big game, which represented a return to community football across the region, that Stawell is likely to have a considerable say on what happens this year.
Or does it? There is obviously a mighty bag of questions about the strengths and weaknesses of all teams this season.
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In brilliant sunshine and unseasonably hot conditions, watchers would have pencilled in a big question mark about Ararat, which came off second best to the tune of 77 points.
Above all, everyone else at the game, others who listened to the live call on radio station 3WM and fans in general would have celebrated a return of the game after a lengthy hiatus.
The rest of Wimmera league’s opening round will continue next week but for the moment many would be absorbing all that unfolded at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval.
Plenty of people made the most of conditions to venture through the gates and watch the season’s first Battle of the Great Divide.
As the teams blew away considerable cobwebs from their respective armouries, it was soon evident the visiting Warriors would be setting the pace. A nine-point lead at quarter time expanded to 29 points at the main break, but it was the second half when the gap between the teams turned into a canyon.
Stawell booted six unanswered goals in the third term to blow out the margin and then scooted home to a big win.
Cody Driscoll was a primary finisher for the winners with seven goals and Jay Moody bagged four, while busy utility Jackson Dark produced a best-on-ground performance further up the ground.
Others such as Sam Williams, Sean Mantell and Tom Walker were also busy.
Ararat had a young line-up, although coach and veteran Matt Walder – providing critical leadership to his group on the ground – would have brought up the average age across the lines.
Riley Taylor, Tom Cousins and Tom Miller won primary accolades for the Rats, who will have a fortnight to dust themselves off before meeting Minyip-Murtoa at Murtoa.
Stawell’s next game will be against Nhill at Stawell. Friday’s contest allowed all involved in Wimmera football a chance to take a deep breath and look towards a future of greater certainty.
Other games went ahead as scheduled with Stawell winning a reserves match and Ararat successful in under-17s and under-14s.
Senior results –
Stawell 3.6 6.12 12.18 15.19 (109)
Ararat 2.1 3.1 3.1 5.2 (32)
GOALS: Stawell, C. Driscoll 7, J. Moody 4, C. Nield 2, C. Kimber, T. Eckel; Ararat, F. Jamieson 2, C. Taylor, N. Oliver, T. Mills.
BEST: Stawell, J. Dark, C. Driscoll, S. Williams, T. Walker, S. Mantell, J. Barber; Ararat, R. Taylor, T. Cousins, T. Mills, L. Spalding, B. Cosgriff, B. Griffin.
The entire April 7, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!