The Bay of Plenty Cup match between Bond & Co Mount Maunganui and Eves Realty Greerton on Saturday is likely to play a big part in deciding the 2020 champion.
While the points table indicates a two-point advantage to Mount Maunganui over Greerton, the Blake Park-based unit will sit out the last round bye next weekend, which turns Saturday's encounter at Pemberton Park into a must-win for Mount Maunganui.
Last season, the Bay of Plenty Cup honours lay firmly with Mount Maunganui who won both battles between the two sides.
The round robin game was a genuine thriller, coming after the Mount posted 239 for nine wickets, in their allotted overs. Peter Drysdale top scored with 90 runs while current Greerton skipper Lee Watkins grabbed four wickets.
The Greerton reply went down to the wire before the Mount Maunganui bowlers restricted Greerton to seven runs short of the required target. Shane Wineti top scored with 82 runs and Drysdale backed up his batting heroics with three wickets.
Just three weeks later, the two sides squared off again in the Bay of Plenty Cup Final. The Mount again batted first and set their rivals another solid target in reaching 200/7.
Tim Tomlinson and Dominic Crombie both reached the 30s, with James Boyd and Lee Watkins each taking two wickets.
Four wicket bags from Dale Swan and Chris Atkinson created havoc in the Greerton reply, which ended when they were bowled out for 117. Greerton top order batsman Taylor Bettelheim showed some real defiance to finish with 51 runs in the score book.
Flying Mullet Te Puke lurk in third place with a top-two finish well within their reach. However, standing in their way this weekend are Element IMF Cadets who will still be hurting from last weekend's loss to Baywide newcomers Pāpāmoa.
Both premier sides come from long-established Western Bay of Plenty Cricket clubs, with the Baker Cup (WBOPCA Challenge Trophy) on the line, which gives the match at the Te Puke Domain an extra edge.
Bayleys Central Indians will want to cement their top-four spot against Generation Homes Lake Taupō in their game at Smallbone Park. The form book suggests that Central Indians should pick up the win points, however the Lake Taupō side has been posting competitive totals with little reward.
Holland Beckett Law Tauranga Boys' College also have plenty to play for when Craigs Investment Partners Geyser visit Nicholson Field. A top-four finish is not out of sight, however they need a big win with the accompanying bonus points over the Rotorua visitors on Saturday.
Bay of Plenty Cup Draw
Te Puke v Cadets, Te Puke Domain; Central Indians v Lake Taupō, Smallbone Park; Tauranga Boys' College v Geyser, Nicholson Field; Greerton v Mount Maunganui, Pemberton Park; Pāpāmoa the bye.
Mount Maunganui 44, Greerton 42, Te Puke 35, Central Indians 29, Pāpāmoa 24, Cadets 23, Tauranga Boys' College 19, Lake Taupō 9, Geyser 7.