THE race for the Hampden league's open netball finals could be over in a flash or it could be a mad dash to the finish.
Three teams - Camperdown, Terang Mortlake and South Warrnambool - are within six points of each other with two games remaining, making it one of the closest top-five fights since 2017.
In that year Warrnambool finished fourth with 40 points while Cobden (fifth) and Port Fairy (sixth) finished four points behind and this season is shaping up the same.
The fifth-placed Magpies have one hand on a finals berth but there is multiple ways they can hold onto it or drop it.
Defeat Portland, which sits in 10th place with one win, and the Bloods fall to minor premier Cobden - the spot is secured with a week to play.
If Brooke Richardson's side loses, Lisa Arundell's defeats or is beaten by the Bombers then the race continues into the final week.
And the Magpies would be eager to avoid trying to secure fifth spot in a final-week battle against their neighbours Cobden.
Richardson said the side's focus was firmly on overcoming the Tigers in Portland this week.
"I think the way to approach it is to focus on winning four-quarters and playing our game," the first-year playing coach said.
"We can't expect to come away with the four points because you can't underestimate any side in the open grade."
Terang Mortlake's finals chances rest on the fate of Camperdown's final two games.
But for the Bloods to have a definite chance of securing a finals berth they need to overcome the Bombers and Saints - two of the best teams in the competition this season.
Arundell's side has not beaten either team this year but with a juicy carrot dangling in front of it anything is possible.
The last time the Bloods played both sides, in round eight and nine, the margins were eight and 11 goals.
Mel Starr's side had to fight until the final quarter to secure the 46-38 victory while the Saints were challenged for a half before their class shone through in the final two quarters of the 51-40 win.
If Terang Mortlake wins at least one of its games and the Magpies drop both games, the Bloods' percentage could be enough to sneak them into finals.
South Warrnambool's chances of making finals are slim but if the pressure gets to the two teams above it and it rises to an almighty challenge it earns its spot in the final five.
The Roosters' final two opponents are fourth-placed Warrnambool and North Warrnambool Eagles (third), who are in a battle for the double chance.
If Mandy van Rooy's side upset both and Terang Mortlake and Camperdown both lose two games then it's finals time for her young side.
No matter who eventually wins the race for this year's final spot, the teams will have learnt valuable lessons to make sure the sequel next year will be just as good as the original.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.