Great Western Lions staved off a fourth-quarter comeback from Ararat Eagles to claim victory in front of a good crowd at Great Western Recreation Reserve.
A spectacular goal from well outside 50 by Tom Taurau then heralded the beginning of an Ararat comeback in the final quarter, with Great Western just holding on to win 88-79.
The Lions had seemed in an unassailable position midway through the third quarter, having started the second half well to manufacture a lead of almost 30 points.
Their sudden dominance had come as a surprise, as the first half had been a very tight affair, with Great Western entering the break narrowly in front with the scores 34-32.
Ararat Eagles coach Brett Sladdin said his team's inconsistency had been their downfall.
"We're good in patches at the moment, we're just not playing well enough for long enough," he said.
"We'd kick a couple of goals and then cough up a couple."
He said the final quarter showed what the players were capable of.
"That's what we want to be like from start to finish," Sladdin said.
"It's hard to keep that up for a whole game but that's the aim, instead of playing in spurts for a couple of minutes."
Sladdin said he was nevertheless pleased with the team's commitment.
"I'm still happy with our effort," he said.
"When we didn't have the ball we were still running hard and defended well."
Sladdin also noted some of Eagles standout performers.
"Tom (Taurau) again, Zach Jenkins was really good, Adrian Reid's been good both weeks, Aaron Neil did a really good job on Damon Folkes, and Ben Robertson was also good," he said.
Elsewhere, Lismore Derrinallum defeated Hawkesdale Macarthur 61-38.
Lismore Derrinallum led by a single point at half time, but Hawkesdale Macarthur struggled with their finishing, kicking four goals and 14 points.
Penshurst defeated Wickliffe Lake Bolac 77-49, with Kane Uebergang kicking four goals for the Bombers.
Tatyoon earned a sizeable win over Moyston Willaura. The final score was 108-35, but having kicked 24 behinds Tatyoon could have easily won by a greater margin.
Woorndoo Mortlake defeated SMW Rovers 154-67, despite the latter improving in the second half.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Stawell Times-News. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the region, sign up here.