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EAGLEHAWK captain Cory Jacobs believes the best is still to come from his side as it hunts a return to the BDCA finals.
Having last year become the first BDCA reigning premier since Strathfieldsaye in 2001-02 to miss the finals, the Hawks can all but lock up a return to the business end of the season with a win over Kangaroo Flat in round 12 starting Saturday.
A victory over the Roos at Dower Park would keep the Hawks at least seven points clear inside the top four - and also keep the door ajar to the top two - heading into their final round game against Sandhurst, which sits in fourth spot.
"I still don't think we've hit our straps yet this season," Jacobs said on Friday.
"We've played some good cricket in patches, but, hopefully, we can put it together over these next two weeks and build some momentum."
Following a mid-season glitch when they lost three out of four games - including to their opponents this round, Kangaroo Flat - the Hawks have hit back with a pair of home wins against Bendigo (72 runs) and Bendigo United (198 runs).
The Hawks skittled the Redbacks for 89 and Goers for 137 in those two wins to continue what has been a strong season with the ball.
Only Huntly-North Epsom (8-219) has made more than 200 against the Hawks this season.
"The biggest knock on us externally is our batting. We probably haven't batted well as a collective yet and keep scraping through, but if we can get it to click and really get some confidence with our batting then we'll be hard to beat," said Jacobs, who has combined 276 runs with 14 wickets for the season.
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The Hawks were forced to dig deep with the bat last round against the Goers, recovering from 8-132 to post a match-winning 9-209, led by 55 from Aaron Monro.
"The lower order led by Monners did a really good job for us last game, but it's all about not losing wickets in clumps and building partnerships," Jacobs said.
The Hawks will be without the unavailable Shaun Knott for the clash against the Roos, with his replacement veteran batsman Marcus McKern returning to the side.
• Round 12 games, February 16-23 - Bendigo v Bendigo United, Strathfieldsaye v Strathdale-Maristians (QEO), Kangaroo Flat v Eaglehawk, Sandhurst v Huntly-North Epsom, White Hills v Golden Square.
1. Golden Square - 57
2. Huntly-North - 46
3. Eaglehawk - 43
4. Sandhurst - 42
5. Strathdale - 36
6. White Hills - 36
7. Strathfieldsaye - 27
8. Kangaroo Flat - 24
9. Bendigo - 21
10. Bendigo United - 6
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