EAGLEHAWK'S batting woes continued on Saturday with another collapse in its Bendigo District Cricket Association game against Bendigo United.
The Hawks lost their third game in a row and their position in the top four when they were bowled out for 167 chasing Bendigo United's 270 at Harry Trott Oval.
Eaglehawk had been 3-85 in the 29th over before what became another of those familiar flurry of wickets.
The Hawks lost their last seven wickets for 82 runs to be bowled out in the 59th over.
Losing 7-85 follows collapses of 8-75 against White Hills and 8-41 against Golden Square in their previous two losses.
The Hawks would be bitterly disappointed with Saturday's showing, particularly when they batted right down to all-rounder Shane Taylor at No.11.
And at No.10 was Luke Jones, who only two games earlier made 50 opening the batting against Golden Square.
Taylor (18) and Jones (3 n.o.) added 22 for the last wicket after the Hawks had been 9-145.
Earlier, No.4 batsman Anthony West was the mainstay of the Eaglehawk innings.
While wickets tumbled around him, West compiled 64 off 95 balls (10 fours) and now has 249 runs for the season.
Behind West, the Hawks' next best score was Taylor's 18.
Redbacks' spinner Nick Crawford was the catalyst for Eaglehawk's demise with a five-wicket haul.
Crawford claimed 5-31 off 15 overs, including the key wicket of West, who was caught by Matt Pinniger to leave the Hawks' 7-137.
Crawford continued the Hawks' struggles against spinners. In their past three games the Hawks have lost 18 wickets to spin, with White Hills' Jake Foley taking 7-84 against them last round and Golden Square's Scott Johnson claiming 6-33 in round five.
Meanwhile, paceman Adam Rayner had an immediate impact in his debut game in the first XI for the Redbacks, taking 3-33 off nine overs, with his wickets all top-order scalps.
• White Hills sits in the top four at the halfway mark of the season after its successful run-chase against Sandhurst at KWD Oval.
Set 239 to win, the Demons won comfortably, passing their target six wickets down before going on to make 7-321.
It was White Hills' biggest score since making 9-374 against Sandhurst on October 31, 2009.
The Demons were in some early strife at 2-20 with Jack Hebron (4) and Jayden Sheean (8) out, and were later 3-60 in the 25th over when opener Lincoln Jacobs (27) was removed.
However, captain Daniel Larke and the consistent Sam Stagg put the Demons in control with their fourth-wicket partnership.
They put on 115 to take the score to 175, with the partnership ending in the 62nd over when Larke - in his 100th BDCA first XI innings - was dismissed by Alex Winfield for 73 off 155 balls (seven fours).
Sandhurst later gave itself a glimmer of hope when Stagg (58 off 142, seven fours), who made his first half-century, and young gun Brayden Stepien (0 off 1) were both dismissed with the score on 201.
However, from 6-201, Gareth Davies and Oliver Geary finished the job for the Demons, with Geary winning the game in style when he hit Liam Bowe (1-85) for six over mid-wicket in the 75th over.
Geary made 42 off 34 (five fours, one six), while Davies provided plenty of entertainment in his 78 n.o. off 65 (four fours, three sixes).
Alex McGauchie (2-31) and Winfield (2-69) were the multiple wicket-takers for the Dragons, who remain stuck on the bottom of the ladder.
Dragons' captain Craig Howard loomed as one of the biggest dangers to the Demons, but only bowled 11 overs, taking 1-28.
• Golden Square maintained its unblemished record this season, defeating Bendigo by 59 runs at Bendigo District RSL Oval.
Square took Bendigo's last five wickets for just 14 runs to bowl the Goers out for 140 in reply to their 199.
Bendigo, after resuming at 1-11, took a slow and steady approach to its innings as Golden Square kept the pressure on with its tight bowling.
Golden Square bowled 41 maidens in its 85.1 overs, with some remarkably economical figures among the attack.
Scott Woodman (1-9 off 14 overs, nine maidens); Jamie Bysouth (0-12 off 11, eight maidens); Liam Smith (3-23 off 14, six maidens) and Luke Baird (4-27 off 19.1, nine maidens), who took his best figures for the season, were all measly with the ball for the ladder-leaders.
Further highlighting just how tight Golden Square's bowling was, it took Bendigo 50 overs to reach 50.
The only bowler who didn't take a wicket for Golden Square was the player who loomed pre-game as the biggest threat, Darren Clutton (0-35).
However, Clutton provided one of the highlights of the day with his sharp catch at gully to dismiss Alex Pearson (10), while Scott Trollope also took a blinder at mid-off to remove Kyle Chant (1).
Mitchell Blackman top-scored for Bendigo with 50 off 224 balls, which included four boundaries.
Blackman has had an up-and-down season. At one stage he made three ducks in a row, but when he has got off the mark he has averaged 59.7 with scores of 57, 33, 54, 45 n.o. and 50.
The only other score of any significance in the Bendigo innings was Ryan Tricky's 30 off 50 balls, with he and Blackman putting on 49 for the fourth wicket.
Bendigo had been 5-126 in the 78th over, but there was little resistance from the tail, with the last five wickets falling in eight overs for 14 runs, with Baird taking three of them.
• Strathdale-Maristians survived a scare from Kangaroo Flat at Bell Oval to win its fifth game of the season.
Chasing the Roos' 165, the Suns resumed at 3-34 and were still under pressure at 7-119 in the 51st over when Kangaroo Flat claimed the big wicket of Travis King.
However, Jacob DeAraugo and Ryan Haythorpe teamed together to steer the Suns over the line with a match-winning eighth-wicket partnership.
They put on 72 for the eighth wicket, with DeAraugo hitting the wining runs in the 79th over.
DeAraugo, following his brilliant form with the ball, made his highest first XI score of 46 off 144 (six fours), while Haythorpe added 36 off 122 (four fours).
The Suns batted into the 89th over in making 197 to win by 32 runs as they beat Kangaroo Flat for the sixth time in a row.
Earlier, King made a return to form for the Suns with his knock of 59 off 160 balls (eight fours).
Adrian Pappin, after retiring hurt last week, returned to make 30 and put on 58 for the fifth wicket with King after the Suns had lost Jack Neylon (6) in the second over of the day to fall to 4-35.
Apart from King, Pappin, DeAraugo and Haythorpe, no other Suns' player made more than six, but they still found a way to win.
It was a gallant effort by the Roos, who on day one had been on the ropes at 4-22.
Captain Adam Burns took 3-46 off 21 overs, which included the crucial scalps of King and Cameron Taylor (4) last week.
Tim Robertson (2-33), Chris Barber (2-33) and Daniel Barber (2-9) took two wickets each, while Brent Hamblin (0-32 off 23 overs) was economical.
• Sam Johnston and captain Linc McRae led the resurgent Huntly-North Epsom to a win over Strathfieldsaye at Tannery Lane.
In what was an ordinary conditions match after no play on day one, it effectively became a one-day game in whites and no bowling or fielding restrictions after the Jets were bowled out in 41 overs for 154 batting first.
Johnston was the star with the ball for the Power, bagging 6-44 off 21 overs as he bowled unchanged all innings.
Johnston dismissed Greg Lyon (11), Hamish Schumacher (20), Luke Millard (0), Jets' top-scorer Cory Devanny (40), Levi Walker (37) and Kristian Rogers (16) in his career-best figures for the Power.
After bowling the Jets out in 41 overs, the Power then had 41 overs to bat, and reached their target with ease, making 2-157 in 34 overs to win by eight wickets.
Opener McRae batted through the innings for an unbeaten 83 (13 fours) and was well supported by Josh Collinson's 52 (seven fours).