The Football South Coast Men’s Premiership is set for a decisive round of fixtures this weekend as clubs battle it out at the top and bottom of the tables.
With the Fraternity Club Premier League pursuing an average points system, it means every game is crucial, especially with just three matches remaining for the top eight.
PCYC is set to host what could be the top-flight League Championship decider on Saturday with Wollongong Olympic taking on Wollongong United.
Victory for United would see the side take up an all but unassailable position in top spot whilst if Olympic took the points, it would set up a nervous finish for United with both Olympic and probably Bulli coming within touching distance.
Saturday’s hosts have had a sturdy spell since the new format began winning three of the five games.
A crucial victory against Coniston for Matt Bailey’s team last week has pushed the side into second.
Their opponents Wollongong United, have dropped points on just two occasions this season with losses to Coniston and Tarrawanna.
Couple that with an historic run in the Australia Cup to the national rounds; the Macedonia Park club have been the team to beat this year.
The battle for finals football is also heating up with all the teams sitting outside of the top five still with a possibility to play in October.
Three victories in a row have sent Cringila into sixth position, while Tarrawanna’s victory over Wollongong United a couple of weeks ago has kept them in fifth.
Three consecutive defeats for Albion Park have seen the White Eagles drop into seventh, but a good run to the end of the season would give them a chance at finals.
Eighth-placed Port Kembla are an outside chance for a finals birth with a significantly lower points average than the rest of the pack, going winless since the reformat.
Woonona’s victory at Corrimal last Sunday has left Bellambi with a seemingly insurmountable task to avoid finishing at the foot of the table.
The Rosellas will play their final two games at home against the Sharks and Rangers needing to win both to have a chance, although they will also need to make up a huge goal differential.
This round of the Peoplecare District League is no less pivotal as both top, and bottom position could be sealed.
It’s been a tough run for the competition, aiming to complete the full 22 rounds which has required many midweek matchups over the past few weeks.
Shell Cove take on Helensburgh this weekend with the teams occupying the top two places.
Helensburgh have been at the summit since the start and remain the only undefeated side across either division of the Men’s Premiership.
A winner in the dying embers of Tuesday night’s fixture against University has kept Shell Cove’s slim chance of a League Championship alive.
However, if the Thistle return from Barrack Heights Sportsfield with a win or draw on Saturday, the side will be League Champions.
The other key matchup is at the other end of the table with Warilla hosting Kiama, and this Saturday’s clash will have significant implications for who will finish in 12th.
A spectacular uptake in form for the Wanderers including victories over Unanderra and Berkeley has pushed the side eight points ahead of the bottom.
A win or even draw for Warilla will all but confine Kiama to twelfth place; however, victory for the Quarriers will give them some hope over the last few games.
It would be hard for it to be any tighter in the fight for finals as well, with only five points separating fourth from eighth.
Fernhill’s four wins on the trot including a victory over Balgownie on Tuesday night has catapulted the Foxes into fifth position – a point behind fourth-place Picton.
Oak Flats are level on points with fifth and three points ahead of Balgownie in seventh.
Just three wins since the start of June means University no longer have destiny in their own hands; however, we can expect them to fight to the end.
We’ve been made to wait this year, but it is shaping up to be a grandstand finish across Illawarra football.
Photo courtesy of Richie Wagner