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10 July 2019
By Colin MacGillivray
Horsham could be in danger of missing Wimmera Football League finals for the first time in decades after a loss to rival Horsham Saints on Sunday left the Demons clinging to the fringes of the top five.
Horsham has long been a fixture at the top of the ladder, winning 13 of the past 16 Wimmera league senior premierships, but age, injury and indifferent form have conspired to slow the powerhouse this season.
A low-scoring 4.8 (32) to 3.7 (25) loss to the Saints at Coughlin Park lowered the team to fifth place on the ladder.
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The Demons are now just four points and percentage ahead of their crosstown rivals, with testing games against Southern Mallee Giants and Stawell looming in the next two rounds.
The team has failed to consistently generate big scores since losing spearhead Josh Mibus to a knee injury earlier this season, and its woes were on display against the Saints at the weekend. Adding to the team’s injury woes on Sunday was a knock to the head of Jordyn Burke that saw him stretchered from the ground in a neck brace.
Horsham could only manage one behind in the second quarter, and was saved only by the fact the Saints were equally inept in attack.
One goal in the third quarter – a relative scoring outburst by the game’s standards – brought the Demons level, but the Saints closed the match out with two final quarter goals to snatch a seven-point win.
Coach Deek Roberts was a lone bright spot for the Demons, but must find a way to turn around a team that has dropped three of its past five games. The Saints, meanwhile, could bolster their percentage this weekend against the 1-9 Nhill Tigers. The Tigers are coming off a 17.11 (113) to 5.4 (34) drubbing at the hands of Ararat.
Tom Mills and Ben Free kicked five goals each, while midfielder Daniel Mendes added four to lead a balanced Rats outfit.
As has been the case for most of the season, Frazer Driscoll was among Nhill’s best players.
The Rats will turn their attention to Dimboola, which only narrowly avoided a 100-point loss against Minyip-Murtoa.
Burra half forwards Brad Inglis and Jae McGrath were unstoppable with seven and five goals respectively, while the classy Ben McIntyre did plenty of work in the engine room.
A two-goal performance from Ash Clugston saw him named Dimboola’s best, while the likes of Matt Rosier and Sam Godden were also strong in the 20.23 (143) to 7.3 (45) loss.
Southern Mallee Giants followed up a close win against Stawell with a dominant performance against Warrack Eagles at the weekend, winning 15.13 (103) to 9.2 (56) at Beulah.
The team commemorated the now defunct Rosebery Football Club – which was located between Beulah and Hopetoun, the two teams that merged to form the Giants – with red and black jumpers.
The Giants put on a show on the field, with Sam Weddell starring and Riley Lehmann booting five goals up forward.
Unrelated players Jake and Nick Peters were the two standouts for the Eagles, who will host Stawell at Brim as the Warriors return from a bye this weekend.
Minyip-Murtoa has the round 12 bye.
The entire July 10, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!