Victory for either Boambee or Northern Storm will go a long way towards securing a berth in the Coastal Premier League northern conference grand final.
The Bombers host the Storm at Ayrshire Park on Saturday eager to repeat their 2-1 victory from four weeks ago.
With both teams also scheduled to play runaway competition leaders Coffs City United in one of their remaining two matches, it’s all on the line.
Bombers coach Jon Fergusson is well aware that a win will see them move four points clear of the Storm with a maximum of just six points up for grabs after fulltime.
“If we win, we make it much easier for ourselves to make the grand final,” he said.
“If we draw, we’re still ahead, but if we have a loss it may be that we can’t make up that ground so effectively it’s a semi-final.”
The return of Mark Ifrah in the middle of the park provides Boambee with another outlet to goal.
“Mark has very good control, can score goals and has good positioning so he’s really beneficial to have around,” Fergusson said.
The coach is well aware of the threat the Storm have especially in attack and a free-flowing style of play that is pleasing to the eye.
“They’re playing really high-tempo football, they’re a strong team, they’re quick to the challenges and they have speed out wide,” he said.
“They have a really smart footballer in Jamie Kennedy as a striker so I think they have a lot of threat all over the field.”
Storm coach Eric McCarthy knows what to expect from the two-time champions and said the pressure was on his opponents.
They were tipped by many to progress to the grand final in the pre-season.
“They’re the team who has won it the last two years running so there’s no pressure on us,” he said.
“The expectation isn’t there for Northern Storm to reach the grand final and once the season started there was no expectation for us to be in the position that we’re in.
“Everybody expected Coffs United and Boambee (to reach the grand final) so I think the pressure is on them not us.”