It was a tale of two halves as the Warriors gave away an early lead to go down to the Horsham Saints on Saturday.
The Saints recorded their first win of the season, storming home to win 11.20 (86) to 5.11 (41).
Strong winds at Coughlin Park played a big impact on the game, with both teams making the most of the conditions at various points in the game.
The Warriors started the game with the wind behind them and they made the most of it.
Stawell had 11 scoring shots but managed just four goals in the first term. They managed to keep the Saints goalless and hold a crucial 28-point lead.
The Saints failed to capitalise on the conditions in the second term, kicking 1.7 with Stawell in the box seat, holding a 22-point half-time lead with wind in their favour the third term.
The Saints came out firing against the wind in the third term, booting two goals to put Stawell on the back foot.
Stawell coach Jamie Solyom said conceding the two goals against the wind created panic in his team.
“We were just a bit flat after half-time,” he said.
“When they kicked those two goals we panicked a bit. Skill errors started to come in and we just lost control of the match.”
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Trailing by eight points going into the final term, the Saints booted a massive 8.6 (54) in the final quarter to run away with a 45-point win.
Stawell failed to kicked a goal after half-time.
Solyom said there were changes he should have made to stop Horsham’s momentum.
“With about 10 minutes into the final quarter we were still in the match and had a chance to kick a goal but missed,” he said.
“I probably could and should have made a few more changes in that second half and I take responsibility for that.”
Solyom said despite losing the game in the end he was pleased with what he saw for parts of the game.
“For the first two and a half quarters we looked really good,” he said.
“We just ran out of legs in the end which comes down to a lack of work in the preseason. We are slowly working on building our fitness and a week off will definitely help us continue to build that.
“To the credit of the Saints they took their game to another level after half-time. To do what they did against the wind was very impressive.”
Naish McRoberts was named as Stawell’s best player while Jackson Dark and Tom Taurau continued their good form.
Midfielder Sean Mantell booted two of Stawell’s goals.