Deer Park’s Premier Bowls side was made to pay for one very poor rink on Saturday as it slumped to its fourth loss from the opening five rounds of the season.

While the Parkers put in a strong showing across three of the four rinks, visitors Clayton dominated on Neil Smith’s rink to set it on a path to an 81 (16) – 56 (2) win.

Neil Smith lost his rink 30-12, and Deer Park president Neil Cromie said it was simply too big a mountain to climb after conceding such a big deficit.

“That rink that went down big left us too big a margin for the others to make up, it’s almost impossible for the other three to bridge the gap,” Cromie said.

“We probably won as many ends as they did in that rink, but we’d only pick up one shot each time and each win they got was worth three or four shots. It’s unfortunate, but at the standard that we play you only have to be five or 10 per cent off and that’s the result that can happen.”

David Holt (22-15) and Brett Mahoney (17-15) were narrow losses for the home side, while Robert Doody provided the bright spark on the day with a 14-12 win.

Cromie said it was a disappointing day at home base and left the club scratching its head.

“That loss was probably the biggest disappointment we’ve had in the season to date,” he said.

“Unfortunately we’ve got players, for whatever reason that we can’t work out, who are just not playing to the standard that they’re capable of.

“We made a number of positional changes for this game, but unfortunately that didn’t do it for us.

“It’s not panic time, but we are a little bit worried about things at the moment.”

With some winnable games on the horizon, Cromie said there was still a chance to salvage a season that sits on the brink with just one win from five games.

“We’ve got chances in the next three games that we think we can and will win, so if we win them that turns the season around,” he said.

“We need some wins to improve the confidence and hopefully get some momentum and get on a roll.

“We’re still hoping to get to the season break level, but if we have another loss in the next three weeks then it’s going to be a real struggle for the rest of the year.

“It’s a big jump in standard for us from last year, I’d equate it to going from the VFL to the AFL.

“You can be a very good player at a lower level, but when you take that next step up that’s when the sheer consistency in the quality of every player shines through.”