Warriors put in a shocker

Stawell Westlift Warriors hit rock bottom when they were handed a football lesson by Wimmera Football League powerhouse Horsham on Saturday.

Stawell Warriors defender Liam Scott attempts to break a tackle on Saturday.

Stawell Warriors defender Liam Scott attempts to break a tackle on Saturday.

Horsham have long been a tough task for any Wimmera team, but Stawell, in their current state, found it more difficult than most.

Stawell never looked in the contest, trailing by 24 points at the first change, despite playing well in the opening term.

The day only got worse from there with Horsham piling on nine goals in the second term.

Warriors hadn't played a bad first half of football, but the experience and skill of Horsham was far greater than Stawell's.

"They run and use the football better than anyone in the competition," coach Brad Cassidy said.

"It was an eye opener for us in terms of the basics."

Horsham brought up the 'ton' before half time and led at the main change by 54 points.

In the third quarter Horsham kicked poorly with only seven majors from 13 attempts, however they still extended their lead with Stawell struggling to get the ball inside their attacking 50.

Heading into the final term, Cassidy asked his players to play the corridor, win the contested ball, don't concede too many scoring opportunities and most importantly, finish the game on a positive.

Aidan Potter, who played extremely well throughout, took control of the midfield group instructing them to also win the contest, set up early at stoppages and talk more.

Potter continued to attack the contest and win his own football when most of the troops were down.

Warriors dropped their heads and the team looked to be lacking the desperation they need to win games.

"I'm not really sure how the boys are feeling, but we can't afford to hang our heads," Cassidy said.

"We just need to work hard on the track and continue to improve. It all starts with the basics."

The final quarter saw Horsham pull away even more, leaving Stawell baffled.

"We just didn't lock the ball in enough," Cassidy said.

"Even if we are forcing a stoppage it gives us that second chance.

"At the minute the opposition are just running away with the football."

Brenton Potter managed to find some isolation throughout the game and kicked five goals, which was impressive, but nothing in comparison to Nic Pekin's ten goal haul for Horsham.

The Big W representative was strongly supported by best on ground Brad Hartigan and Joel Geue, who both kicked five goals.

Cassidy tried several different tactics to counteract the forwards for Horsham to no avail.

"We flooded their backline and they sent guys with us to make it one on one," Cassidy said.

Best players for Stawell included Aidan Potter, Brenton Potter, Jesse Eckel, Chris Ford, Todd Cleary and Jackson Dark.


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