Ararat and Stawell are two of the oldest clubs in the Wimmera and have a storied history with their rivalry dating back over 145 years.
We will look back on their rivalry with Ararat and how it has continued to the current day.
Since 1902, Ararat (160 wins) has a convincing advantage over Stawell (117 wins) in the Wimmera competition.
Ararat's highest score against their oldest rival came in 2002, when they scored 195 (30 goals, 15 behinds). Their lowest score in over 100 years of competition was in 1909 when they only managed to score seven behinds in a match.
Stawell's biggest score against Ararat was in 1939 when they scored 183 points (28 goals and 15 behinds). The lowest score was in 1911 when they also only scored seven behinds in a match.
Stawell Football Club president Simon Field said there has "always" been a rivalry with Ararat due to it being the closet town.
"Some Stawell people go to school in Ararat and some Ararat people go to school in Stawell and people work in both towns as well, I think that is where it started" he said.
"Ararat being the closest team to Stawell it is always going to be our rival."
Field said off the field the clubs have no problem with each other but when they face off on the field it is a different story.
"It is a bit more friendly now with players associating n the same circles off the field, but on the field, the rivalry is just as strong," he said.
"From a Stawell point of view, there is nothing better than beating Ararat, what happens on the field stays on the field."
In the early days of the Wimmera competition, The Ararat Advertiser only fueled the rivalry as they would often refer to Ararat as the 'capital' and Stawell as the 'suburb'.
Ararat's first match against Stawell came in August 1874 with the encounter between the two sides being played at Stawell Cricket Ground ending in a 15-all draw.
On Saturday September 19 1874 Ararat faced Stawell for the second time in the year with the Ararat Advertiser describing the match as "pleasant" to the great humor of both teams.
One final match between the neighbouring town was scheduled to take place on the 10th of October, however was cancelled due to the non-attendance of a number of Stawell players.
In June 1886, Ararat traveled to Stawell and suffered "a crushing defeat", losing five goals to nil. However, it wasn't the football the Ararat Advertiser was talking about in the next week's paper.
'The visitors do not speak in glowing terms of the hospitality extended to them on their visit," the Ararat Advertiser wrote.
"Setting aside the spirit of fair play, the defeated team was hooted even after leaving the field, and an unsavory egg was sent flying amongst them. It is not likely the team will again visit Stawell."
In July 1891, Stawell defeated Ararat in a Sprague-Gregory match with the Warriors winning the match 25-11. The Ararat Advertiser claimed Stawell were "convinced of their superiority" and did no training for the match.
It was also reported that rumours reached Ararat that under "no circumstances were they to be allowed to win" with Ararat questioning the credibility of Stawell selecting a best 22 player as the central umpire for the match.
The score line was in the favour of Stawell, however the Ararat Advertiser claimed the umpire was "certainly not giving them fair play" with Stawell receiving free kicks with "the reason being a mystery to both players and spectators".
The match report also discussed the rowdiness of the Stawell crowd toward the Ararat players.
"At one time, the Ararat captain would have been justified in taking his team off the field," the Ararat Advertiser wrote.
"When Baxter marked the ball on the occasion of kicking the goal, a crowd lined down the ground from goal post to player, and hooted and groaned, whilst the player was preparing to kick, presumably with the intention of putting him out in his aim."
Since the Wimmera Football League's inception in 1902 the two clubs have faced of eight times for senior premiership glory with each club winning four premierships.
Ararat's first premiership against their original rival came in 1904 with Paddy Carrol leading the side.
In 1920, Austin Carroll coached Ararat to their seventh flag and second against Stawell. Clen Denning was at the helm when Ararat defeated Stawell in 1949 and Wilf Dickeson led Ararat to the 1975 premiership against Stawell.
In 1933, Stawell defeated Ararat by five points to win the premiership and also defeated the Rats in 1950 by 19 points to claim the flag. In 2000 Stawell would once again defeat Ararat by 10 points to claim the premiership.
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