STAWELL Westlift Warriors showed promising signs against a much stronger Warracknabeal line up in their round eleven clash of Wimmera Football League.
On the back of a win last week Stawell came out with some intent and despite the Eagles having the majority of play in the opening term, Warriors were in no mood to lay down.
After a slow start, Warriors made some impact on the scoreboard late in the quarter to go into the first break trailing by just eight points.
The second term was a similar result with Warracknabeal extending their lead to 16 points and Stawell still fighting hard.
Half time came at a good time for the Warriors and coach Brad Cassidy was full of praise at the main break.
"It was just that we started to click," Cassidy said.
"Our energy and confidence was pretty good in the first half so I spoke about that."
The third term Stawell kicked a couple of early goals and with some scoreboard pressure, the heat was well and truly on.
Halfway through the quarter Stawell hit the front with Brenton Potter booting a goal home from 45 out on a slight angle.
Stawell players rallied around each other and looked to have a spring in their step.
Warrack answered with a goal of their own to go into three quarter time leading by a surprising three points.
Cassidy urged his players to play a possession game and said the first five minutes of the final term were crucial and crucial they were.
An upbeat Stawell Warriors team looked out of sorts after the break and their previous good work started to come undone.
Warracknabeal were able to get a couple of quick goals without a response from the Stawell camp.
While Cassidy doesn't think Stawell's fitness had an impact in that final term, Warrack was able to kick nine goals to Stawell's one.
"They kicked the first couple of the quarter and when you do that and get some momentum, the opposition are always in trouble," Cassidy said.
"It is even more important in the last quarter. We just couldn't catch them."
Warracknabeal ran out winners 17.10 112 to Stawell's 9.4.58.
"There was certainly a lot to like from Stawell," Cassidy said.
"We played three brilliant quarters to be up with the best. So we are not disappointed, maybe just a little deflated."
Cassidy took some responsibility for the loss and questioned whether or not he needed to make the call to push numbers back.
"It is on myself and the players. Should I have flooded the backline to minimise their scoring, I don't know."
Ruckman Shane Field was best on ground for the Warriors, stepping up in the absence of Jorah Margetson, while Aidan Potter was impressive returning from his injured knee and Tom Eckel, Jackson Dark, Cam Kimber and David Morris also played their role.
For Warracknabeal Jae McGrath was dominant up forward kicking six goals.
Clayton Hinkley suffered a shoulder dislocation in the first half and spent the second half on the sidelines.
Hinkley was the only player to suffer any serious injury, which was pleasing from Stawell's point of view, as they have, in recent weeks, suffered injuries in every game.