The Ararat Storm dropped their second game of the season, losing to the Ballarat Swans by seven points at Wendouree on Sunday.
The Storm got off to a strong start early in the game and looked to gain control of the game in the first quarter.
The reigning premiers piled on two goals to the Swans’ one to take a seven-point lead into the quarter time break.
The second term when the Swans started to make their move on the scoreboard.
The Storm only managed one goal in the quarter while the Swans kicked two to go into half time trailing the reigning premiers by one point.
The third quarter was another closely contested period with the Swans able to sneak ahead on the scoreboard late in the term to take a one point advantage into the final quarter.
The home team struggled to match the Swans in the final term and were outclassed across the ground.
The Storm could only manage one behind for the quarter while the Swans kicked away to record the 5.6.36 to 4.5.29 win in the round 13 match.
Ella Wood was again one of the Storm’s best and slotted two of her team’s four goals.
Nekaela Butler and Ayesha Nicholson also hit the scoreboard with one goal each.
Nicholson’s performance showed why she is one of the Storm’s most important players leading into finals with the captain named best on ground in the loss to the Swans.
The loss could be pivotal in the race to finals with three teams now all sitting on 44 points at the top of the ladder.
The Storm have the edge by percentage but cannot afford anymore slip ups if they are to defend their premiership successfully in 2017.
The reigning premiers will be keen to make amends for the loss and get back on the winners list in round 14 when the Storm face the Carisbrook Lions at Great Western on Sunday.
The clash will be the Storm’s final home and away game before finals start the following week.