The KNTNA A grade premiership race is set for an exciting run to the line.
Just like last year, the top sides are very even and the make-up of the final five is likely to come right down to the last round.
The top five is set, with Penola (5th) having a good break on the rest of the teams, but inside the five things are very interesting.
In saying that, some crucial games over the next few weeks could separate the top two or three from the others, starting with a vital game between the undefeated reigning premiers Lucindale and perennial grand finalist Naracoorte this weekend.
The result is important, because if Naracoorte (3rd) lose, they will fall back level on wins with Bordertown (4th) and Penola (5th), opening up third spot and the double chance in finals.
Naracoorte has made a huge comeback, losing their first three games of the season and now winning nine in a row.
In the run home, Bordertown has the best draw of all the top five teams, not having to play any other top five rivals.
With five rounds left, here is the draw for each of the top teams, with finals-bound opponents in bold:
LUCINDALE (11-0) v Naracoorte, Padthaway, KLU, Penola, Mundulla
KEITH (9-2-1) v bye, Penola, Mundulla, Kingston, Kybybolite
NARACOORTE (9-3) v Lucindale, bye, Padthaway, KLU, Penola
BORDERTOWN (8-4) v Padthaway, KLU, bye, Mundulla, Kingston
PENOLA (8-4) v B/Districts, Keith, bye, Lucindale, Naracoorte
If games go according to ladder position for the rest of the season, the ladder will look like:
Of the other A grade sides outside the finals, Border Districts have been the best, and but for some untimely losses could easily have been up in the finals calculations.
Similarly, Mundulla (7th) has been very good at times and could have pushed for finals, while Kybybolite (8th) has done a great job to put together a capable A grade side and get four wins a year after sitting out of the A grade competition.
Kingston and K/L United have both been very competitive at times this year and have been unlucky not to get more wins, while the young Padthaway side remains winless at the bottom but has shown plenty of promise that better things are around the corner.