Wangaratta Rovers have hit the lowest point in their proud 68-year career, suffering their biggest loss.
And to make matters worse, Sunday’s 170-point debacle was against their fierce rivals Wangaratta.
The respective home grounds are separated by 20m, but the pair is worlds apart.
“I think it probably can’t get any worse for us at the moment,” co-coach Sam Carpenter said.
The 30.12 (192) to 3.4 (22) hiding surpasses the club’s 159-point loss to Albury.
I think it probably can’t get any worse for us at the moment.Sam Carpenter
The Hawks have now lost to every side this season and appear certain to claim just their second wooden spoon.
They grabbed their first in their debut season in 1950.
Wangaratta’s win also smashes the Hawks’ biggest loss to the Pies, a 112-point defeat that same year.
It’s been well documented the competition is split evenly between the haves and the have nots and the only skerrick of light is that the Hawks now face the other four bottom sides.
However, Wodonga, Corowa-Rutherglen and Myrtleford all have two wins, so it would take a monumental turnaround to not snare the wooden spoon.
It also raises the question that if Rovers can’t break through in the next month, what will happen when they face the big five again in the run home?
In their defence, the Hawks are missing a third of the strongest team, including ruckman Shane Gaston and Coen Hennessy.
The club is hoping to get some back for Saturday’s home game against Wodonga, but Carpenter says players from the undefeated under 18s will be considered.
“We’ve been leaving them alone,” he said.
“We haven’t been playing them over the last five weeks, but we’ll look at that this week.”
Carpenter and co-coach Ross Hill have deliberately avoided pitching talented youngsters Brynn D’Arcy, Will Christie and Co. against the top five but, as the club searches for some positivity, it could be desperate times call for desperate measures.