As the mid-point of the Central Highlands Netball League A-grade season comes and goes across round nine, two teams are set to clash with a top four spot up for grabs.
Ballan will host Springbank on Saturday afternoon in a game that pits fourth against fifth.
Both teams have only lost one game to date in the 2019 season and will be hoping to continue their strong form.
Springbank coach Garth Kydd is expecting a hard-fought match-up as his side makes the trek out to the Blues home court.
"We're ready for a very tough game," he said.
"In our previous games against Ballan over the past few seasons it's always been a bit of a grind for the first three-quarters... I reckon over the past few years we haven't had a game finish with a double-digit win for either team."
Kydd praised his teams effort in their 72-14 victory over Creswick in round eight. Both he and his wife, goal-attack Cynna Kydd, were not present for the dominant win.
"We're coming off a fantastic effort in our last game, it was the first time we've really put four quarters together.
Coming off the Queen's Birthday bye week, Kydd says he doesn't buy in to the 'rest v rust' debate.
"I don't subscribe to that at all," he said.
"This group has been together for nearly seven years and if anything the week off is a chance for our players to get on with stuff outside of netball.
The cohesion on the court is just really natural... our girls know what do once they're on the court together.Springbank coach Garth Kydd
"We know that at the end of the day you want to be playing your best netball at the end of the season."
Following their round eight game against the Blues, the Tigers only play one game against top-eight sides for the remainder of the season.
Kydd believes refining the skills they will need come finals will be his side's focus over the final eight games.
"For us the season is about refinement - you try different lineups and maybe force some balls that you wouldn't otherwise.
"When it comes to finals it's about executing what we've worked on all year and making the right decisions on the court."
Ballan are coming into the contest on the back of five-straight wins. Blues coach Narelle Perkins told The Courier after their 31-point win over Skipton in round seven that she believed her side's attention to detail and preparation at training to leading to success on the court.
"We're training really hard on timing which is crucial in our ability to gell together," she said.
"I think our training ethics are really shining through on Saturday's."
Beaufort v Dunnstown
Hepburn v Gordon
Rokewood-Corindhap v Buninyong
Creswick v Newlyn
Ballan v Springbank
Clunes v Bungaree
Learmonth v Skipton
Daylesford v Waubra
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.