Eaglehawk selectors address poor start to BBD season

PRESSURE IS ON: Eaglehawk skipper Tony Ellis. The battling Hawks have won just four of 16 rinks across their first four games of the BBD pennant season.

PRESSURE IS ON: Eaglehawk skipper Tony Ellis. The battling Hawks have won just four of 16 rinks across their first four games of the BBD pennant season.

THERE’S a saying that the definition of insanity is to do something over and over again and expect a different result.

And it’s a saying that seems to have been heeded by selectors at the Eaglehawk Bowling Club ahead of round five of pennant on Saturday.

The Hawks are renowned as a perennial power of BBD pennant, but so far this season have proven anything but after a lacklustre first four games.

Over the previous decade the Hawks have had an average of 43 points and +34 shots on the board after four rounds.

This season they have only compiled 18 points after four games and are -58 shots, with just one win and three losses and only the winless Golden Square below them.

All-rinks losses aren’t usually associated with Eaglehawk, but the Hawks have already suffered two this season, including a 49-shot hammering from Bendigo last week.

The poor form of the Hawks has seemingly come from nowhere given there has been minimal change to last year’s team that made the preliminary final, with the only inclusions John Carter from Kangaroo Flat and David Vanston from Inglewood.

And three of the skippers remain the same in Tony Ellis, Ken Rusbridge and Simon Carter, with only Brayden Byrne taking over Frank Byrne’s rink.

With the season in danger of slipping away, the Hawks have made wholesale changes to their sides across all four rinks this week.

“There has been a number of changes made this week to try and get a bit of confidence back,” the Hawks’ John Carter said on Friday.

“Phil Godkin has moved from Simon to Kenny Rusbridge; Ray Rowe has swapped with Phil; Gary Beckham has gone from leading to second for Brayden Byrne and David Vanston has gone over there to lead; and Steve Carn has gone over to Tony Ellis’ rink.

“There has been changes made to every rink, which is something that had to be done to try to get a combination that is going to be successful.”

The Hawks will be hoping the changes can have an immediate impact on Saturday given they face a pivotal game at home against Castlemaine.

The Maine sits in fourth position – 22 points clear of the Hawks.

An Eaglehawk victory on Saturday would propel the Hawks right back into the season, but if they suffer another loss, not only would their confidence take a further hit, it would leave little room for error as far as their finals aspirations.

To get a comparison of how poor a start Eaglehawk has made, here’s how its 18 points and -58 shots compares to its record after four games over the previous 10 seasons:

2006-07 – 46, +25

2007-08 – 46, +35

2008-09 – 26, -57

2009-10 – 51, +46

2010-11 – 40, +8

2011-12 – 54, +81

2012-13 – 38, +25

2013-14 – 61, +95

2014-15 – 54, +89

2015-16 – 22, -3

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