IT'S been a tough initiation for the new Eaglehawk coaching tandem of Elley Lawton and Eleisha Saunders, having to deal with regular absences from their first choice line-up this season.
But a stirring one-goal win over Kyneton last Saturday showed there's more than plenty of light at the end of the tunnel for the young Hawks.
A 44-43 triumph at Canterbury Park was the Hawks' second win in seven games, and according to co-coach Lawton, will give them plenty of confidence for the remainder of the season as they continue to rebuild.
The win came four weeks after their first against Golden Square on April 30,
Eaglehawk's coaches hope another win is another stepping stone for their developing team.
"I absolutely do think can give us some confidence and momentum," said Lawton.
"I don't think many of us were looking at the scoreline during the game.
"We had a fair bit of confidence after the first quarter and knew we wanted to keep that up, as Kyneton are so quick and they are strong.
"We were aware we needed to stick with them and keep our momentum.
"Coming into the fourth they got about five (goals) in a row and we were in a bit of strife, but we were able to pull through.
"It was a team effort really.
"We know there are lots of things we need to work on, but each week we are getting them done and that probably showed in our attacking end (on Saturday), they played so well."
Momentum has been hard to come by for the Hawks, who have only four of their regulars from the line-up which finished last year's shortened season in fifth, and have been among the hardest hit BFNL teams on the injury and illness front.
Chief among the absentees has been Lawton herself, who has ruptured the ligaments in her ankle.
The Hawks dual A-grade best and fairest-winning defender played all four quarters for the first time this season last Saturday, after playing one or two at the most in other games she has been available in.
Her presence in defence, alongside Morgan Keating and wing defence Charli Edlin, proved steadying and helped offset the absence of Rani Madden.
Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the win for Lawton and Saunders was their team's fighting spirit after being headed by a goal in the final quarter.
They had led at every change, including by five goals at three quarter time.
"Our defensive pressure was huge and to get us over the line we needed that," Lawton said.
"And then the composure .... Gracie's shooting was unreal and our defensive pressure from Charli in wing defence was really good. She was able to stop a lot of balls."
Berryman, in particular, has enjoyed a terrific season, regularly rating a mention from opposition coaches for her work rate, energy and execution.
"She can shoot from anywhere in the circle with confidence that it will go in," Lawton said.
In charge of one of the youngest A-grade lists in the BFNL, the new coaching partners have enjoyed their first few months.
"We match so well, we're like two peas in a pod. We think everything the same and we're happy with our choices and decisions," Lawton said.
"It's worked very well so far and been very cohesive."
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