Port Kembla is hoping to consolidate its place inside the Illawarra cricket top four with a win over Helensburgh today.
Fourth-placed Port hold a slim two-point advantage over nearest rivals Corrimal in the standings, with Dapto (sixth) and Balgownie (seventh) also within striking distance as teams enter the second half of the season.
Blacks captain Scott Smith said his side would stave off a potential logjam of finals aspirants with victory over the Burgh.
"Between us and seventh place there's only a difference of about five points, so it would be an important win for us," he said.
"Our aim at the start of the year was to be sitting in a semi-final spot by Christmas and we've done that. If we can keep going the way we are then we'll be confident that we can do well in the comp this year.
"Every win's going to be important. If we can string back-to-back wins together we can move up into third spot. It's obviously very important at this time of year."
The Burgh have defeated Port twice this season but Smith said those results would hold little significance when the two sides take the field again today.
"Both of those games were pretty close and very low scoring," Smith said.
"I think the big hurdle for us this week will to be posting significant runs."
Keira remain the team to beat in the Illawarra division, clearing out to a 26-point advantage in the standings after 10 rounds.
But Smith is mindful of the fact that extra bonus points (six), achieved when a side bowls out their opposition for a win, could help any of the top four bridge that gap with nine rounds remaining.
"You can get 20 points for a win, so it only takes as many as three wins to overtake Keira - they're definitely catchable," Smith said.
"That said, I think Keira and Wollongong are definitely the teams to beat at this stage."
ILLAWARRA CRICKET ROUND 10
Wests Illawarra v Wollongong – Figtree 1, 12.15pm
Keira v University – Keira, 12.15pm
Helensburgh v Port Kembla – Helensburgh 1, 12.15pm
Balgownie v Northern Districts – Judy Masters 1, 12.15pm
Dapto v Corrimal – Reed, 12.15pm