Early losses put Bundoora RSL under the pump

Bundoora’s Joshua Corless has enjoyed stepping up into the skip role. Picture Shawn Smits

The season is only four rounds old but Bundoora RSL already knows every game is a crunch game in Bowls Victoria’s premier division.

Last year’s runner-up started this season with three tough fixtures, including matches against reigning premier Altona and Essendon, who finished third.

And after losing to both of them Bundoora is behind the eight-ball.

But it took its record to 2-2 by beating Mitcham 111 (17)-64 (1) on Saturday.

Bundoora’s Ian Ewing said he’d expected a tough start to the season.

“Playing both Essendon and Altona away we wouldn’t have been favourites,” he said.

“It’s been a tough start and we aren’t in the position we’d like to be in.

“We were disappointing against Altona but we won three rinks against Essendon, so it wasn’t the massive blow it could have been.”

Although the upcoming fixtures appear easier, Ewing knows nothing can be taken for granted.

“When you have clearly not started how you wanted to, it doesn’t get any easier,” he said.

“We will be favourites to win games but if we slip up it would be a disaster. We have to lift our performances.”

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Bundoora has a very similar line-up to last season with the loss of Nick McIntyre to Whittlesea the only big one.

The club has looked to fill the void with younger players, including Troy Mansbridge.

“As a whole club we have been quite lucky to get five or six recruits who are 18 and under,” Ewing said.

“Most are playing in the lower grades, but we have 10 players in that age group who are playing in various sides.”

One of those younger players, Joshua Corless, is enjoying a bigger role in the premier division team.

“Joshua is a current Australian junior player and the last few years he has filled in as skipper a couple of times,” Ewing said.

“This season he has done well and is relishing the opportunity to skip full-time.

“We have the utmost respect for his ability.”

Ewing said finals was again the aim for the club.

“You can’t win if you’re not in them,” he said.

“Making the four is the first goal and then to finish as high as possible.

“Losing the two early games will make it difficult to finish in the top two but it’s still early days.”

Bundoora’s second side lost 84 (14)-78 (4) to Hurstbridge in division 1, section 4.

In the same section, Whittlesea thumped Lalor 107 (18)-47 (0).

In division 2, section 2, Broadmeadows defeated Buckley Park 90 (16)-71 (2), while Craigieburn defeated Glenroy (2) 82 (14) – 74 (4).