Ballarat let slip a promising start to miss finals last campaign and will be desperate to arrest a mini form slump to avoid a repeat 12 months on.
The side is sitting pretty at the top of the weekend pennant bowls division one ladder, but its lead has been trimmed on the back of successive losses to lowly rivals Smeaton and Webbcona.
That defeat at the hands of Smeaton came before the mid-season break and the loss to Webbcona – which was bottom of the table at the time – was suffered last Saturday.
Experienced skipper Mark Fothergill said it was a very disappointing display from his side last weekend.
“Last week I think about 12 players played bad on the same day, which you don’t normally get,” Fothergill said.
“I’d say it was our worst game. We couldn’t handle our own green.”
Fothergill and his side have a tough task in order to restore winning form. This Saturday the Ballarat outfit comes up against Creswick before a Friday night fixture against the in-form Ballarat Memorial Sports the following week.
The inclusion of former Mt Xavier player Ray Wilson – who has worked his way through the lower grades since joining Ballarat – will boost Ballarat against a Wickers line-up that slipped from second to fifth last round. Creswick was beaten by City Oval and is now percentage behind fourth-placed Mt Xavier.
Also on Saturday afternoon, BMS will have a battle with City Oval, Central Wendouree is up against Ballarat East, Mt Xavier will host Smeaton and Webbcona will look to beat another big name when it clashes with Learmonth.
In Geelong-Ballarat Premier Bowls this weekend, Buninyong and Victoria are pitted against one another in an all-local contest.
Elsewhere, Sebastopol will be looking to return to winning ways against Ocean Grove, Webbcona hosts Eastern Park and top team Bareena and Lara will lock horns while Queenscliff tackles Highton.