It has been a baptism by fire for Mt Xavier in the Ballarat District Bowls Division Saturday Pennant.
But with a win now under its belt the club is primed to turn things around.
Mt Xavier defeated Central Wendouree by seven shots last weekend and will take a full squad into Saturday's clash with Buninyong.
It will be the first time all season the club has had a full list to choose from, but Mt Xavier skipper Chris McDonald made no excuses for the team's poor start.
"We were more consistent last week and we had to be, especially in this level," he said.
"You can play okay, but you're playing against the best players in Ballarat, so if you fall off a bit your opponents will make the most of their chances.
"So you've got to be at the top of your game the whole way through."
Mt Xavier, who finished one game out from the finals in the BDBD division one pennant last year, has faced one of the toughest schedules thus far with three out of its opening four games coming against clubs who competed in the Geelong-Ballarat Premier Bowls competition last season.
"We probably played the four best sides straight up, but we still weren't playing at the level we could have," McDonald said.
"But having that win gave us a bit of confidence that we can actually beat sides, and Buninyong will be hard to beat, but we're a chance."
McDonald said the new 12-man format had made for some challenging decisions for the club, which had to drop four good players from the top team.
"Last year we just missed the finals and then we had to drop players who played well into our second side and that was hard," McDonald said.
However he said the new format and early exposure to the league's upper tier would improve the club in the long run.
"It will help us to not get overawed later in the year," he said.
"It can be easy to drop your head if they start playing on top of you, but it will hold us in better stead.
"We're only going to get better playing at this level and improve week after week."
In the meantime, McDonald said it was a relief to shake the monkey off their back.
"It's always a bit better when you win, it gives you a spring in your step," he said.
Elsewhere Ballarat Memorial Sports will look to continue its march up the ladder in its clash with Webbcona. The reigning premier is in good form following a 10-shot win over Buninyong.
Central Wendouree will look to bounce back against red-hot Victoria. Sebastopol will take on Creswick and Learmonth will host Ballarat.