HORSHAM Saints notched their first win against a fellow top five team this season in emphatic fashion on Saturday.
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The Saints’ 69-point belting of Dimboola highlighted the evenness of the top teams at the mid-way point of the Wimmera league season.

Brendan Broadbent’s Saints imposed themselves on the contest from the opening bounce.

Their ferocious attack on the football, ability to win the ball in close and then spread and their potent forward line pointed to a morale-boosting win.

The Saints held a 23-point lead at half time, but it was after the main break where they inflicted the most damage.

Key forward Heath Watson converted the first goal of the third term less than a minute in, pouncing on a poor Dimboola turnover.

It sparked a run of five more Saints goals, all but snuffing out any chance the Roos had of a revival.

Phil Butsch, Nathan Byrne, who finished with four goals, and Michael Rowe all played strongly, as the Saints’ pressure took its toll on the Roos.

Dimboola struggled to get the ball into its forward half in the third term, such was Horsham Saints’ dominance.

Tom Magee kicked the Roos’ only goal of the quarter deep into time on.

Dimboola pushed forward in the early stages of the fourth term for little reward.

It added 1.4 before the Saints added the final four goals of the game, including a Matt Combe-conversion where he side-stepped his Dimboola opponent with ease.

Broadbent was thrilled with the Saints’ endeavour and ability to work as a collective.

“We played a really good brand of football and the stuff

we have been working on is really starting to come to fruition,” he said. “They were a lot bigger side than us so it was pleasing how our guys accepted the challenge to take them on.”

Dimboola coach Gary Davidson labelled the loss ‘a learning curve’, saying it was a reality check.

“We were smashed in all departments of football,” he said. “If you look all over the ground, apart from Lachie Exell deep forward for us when we got the ball to him, you would say they had the majority of winners.

“They smashed us in the contested possessions. Their pressure was outstanding and their want for the football was greater.”

Davidson said he hoped the performance was an aberration, highlighting the fact there was ample time for the Roos to finetune their game before finals.

“We have some very proud players in our team and I don’t think they will stand back and take that effort lightly,” he said.

In other games, Stawell 124 showed a strong effort against Horsham RSL Diggers 67, Warrack Eagles 210 annihilated Nhill 23 and Horsham 95 accounted for Minyip-Murtoa 56.

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