Kyneton primed to break Hawks drought

Kyneton has a golden opportunity to snap a seven-year hoodoo when it hosts Eaglehawk at the Kyneton Showgrounds on Saturday.
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HARD AT THE BALL: Midfielder Hamish Govan has been a valuable recruit for Kyneton in 2016. Picture: NONI HYETT

The Tigers haven’t beaten the Hawks since round three, 2009, when they scored an upset eight-point win to record their only victory for that season.

Only one of the 21 players that represented Kyneton that day are still playing BFNL senior footy and that’s David Romer, who ironically will run out for Eaglehawk.

The Hawks have dominated the Tigers since then, winning 12-straight games by an average margin of 79.33 points, including last year’s elimination final by 26 points.

When you line this year’s teams up on paper there appears to be little between them. However, the Tigers enter Saturday’s game with better form and confidence.

Two weeks ago the Tigers upstaged Sandhurst before putting in a credible performance against the unbeaten Golden Square.

Eaglehawk is coming off two thumpings at the hands of Golden Square and Sandhurst and must defeat the fifth-placed Tigers to stay in touch with the top five.

“I don’t think anyone from Kyneton would be thinking we go into this game as favourites,’’ Kyneton star Nathan Thompson said.

“Eaglehawk has been a consistent finals performer for a long time and it’s going to be a tough game. It’s very wet down here and the ground is getting quite boggy.

“It will be a big test for both teams, who I would suggest are evenly matched.”

Thompson said the Tigers are improving on a weekly basis.

“From a list perspective we had another big change in the off-season with eight to 10 players coming into the club,’’ Thompson said.

“The first couple of months have been a settling in and learning period for everyone at the club and we haven’t had the best of run with injuries.

“The great thing is we have improved our depth as far as numbers and quality are concerned.

“We’re starting to find our feet. We’ve shown our best football can be competitive and that’s exciting.

“There’s some really positive signs and the main thing (coach) Luke (Beattie) is working on now is getting that consistency over four quarters.”

Eaglehawk is playing without confidence and coach Luke Monaghan reacted at the selection table by making fivechanges.

The suspended Brodie Collins was the only forced change, with four players dropped.

Eaglehawk has had major issues across half-forward all season and the Hawks are hoping the return of Josh McKee and Bendigo Pioneers big man Jonty Neaves will give their forward line more potency.

The Hawks have also included highly-rated Bendigo Pioneers midfielder Kane Farrell.

The highly-skilled Farrell is part of the AFL Academy and is seen as an AFL National Draft prospect.

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