The 2023 Premier League has reached the business end of the season, and the competition for finals is certainly heating up.
With two rounds left in the regular season, three teams have locked away their position in the finals series, while four other sides are still in the hunt to fill in the last two spots in the top-five.
It was also a weekend of celebration for the White Eagles, who celebrated winning this year's IPL premiership after gaining an unassailable lead at the top of the table.
Here were some of the key moments to emerge from round 20:
Bulli and Port Kembla both entered their clashes with Bellambi and Coniston respectively on the weekend knowing that they had to win to keep their finals hopes alive.
Bulli were heavy favourites heading into their clash with the bottom-placed Rosellas and showed no mercy, recording a 6-0 victory at Elizabeth Reserve. In an incredible day for the club, Bulli netted 36 goals - while conceding zero - across the three senior grades.
The result sees the Balls Paddock team keep within striking distance of finals, piling pressure on Coniston (more on them later) and Wollongong United.
The win means that Port season's season still has a pulse - though they are walking the tightrope to keep their finals hopes alive.
First of all, we must preface this by acknowledging that Coniston were missing two crucial players - Jason Zufic and Daniel Lowe - on Saturday. However, the JJ Kelly Park team looked sub-par during their 1-0 defeat to Port Kembla at home.
"Cono" deserve praise for containing the Zebras' attack, with keeper Kaydin Harrison making some impressive saves. But it was at the other end of the ground where the hosts were disappointing, barely firing a shot all game, despite boasting the likes of Toby Norval, Matthew Floro and Matt Tschentscher.
While it could just have been a one-off bad day - which happens in football - coach Franc Pierro will desperate to ensure that they don't put in a repeat effort against premiers Albion Park next week. Coniston then face powerhouse side Wollongong Olympic in the last round, which could leave them vulnerable in their pursuit of a finals finish.
The fourth-placed Cono are now equal on 35 competition points with Wollongong United (albeit with a far superior goal difference record) and are facing plenty of pressure late from Bulli (32) and Port Kembla (30).
It's been a tough 2023 for Bellambi, but the end of the season can't come quick enough for this year's wooden-spooners.
The Rosellas will collect the dreaded crown for the second successive season and get ready for a demotion to the District League in 2024. Following another thumping 6-0 defeat to Bulli, Bellambi have now shipped 88 goals this campaign - 16 of those goals have come in the last fortnight.
To be fair to the Rosellas, they signalled that they were prepared for relegation this season, though they were kept up in the top-flight after Woonona's sudden withdrawal from the men's premiership in early.
It will be fascinating to track how Steven Dimitrievski's men travel in the DL next year.
If round 20 was any indicator, this year's IPL finals series could be a lot of fun for spectators.
Twenty-five goals were scored across six games on the weekend, with Bulli and Albion Park both mustering six goals apiece on Saturday. It was particularly a day out for Japanese import Taiga Kitajami who scored four goals for the White Eagles after coming off the bench in the first half.
While the finals will feature the IPL's top defensive units, hopefully we will see the ball find the back of the net plenty of times in the finals too.
Finally, it must be acknowledged that the White Eagles deserve all of the accolades that come their way after claiming the Premier League premiership with two rounds to spare.
Albion Park have easily been the league's most consistent side in 2023 and flexed their muscles with a 6-2 thumping of Helensburgh on Saturday.
George Antoniou has done a tremendous job in his first season at the helm for the Terry Reserve club, who were shrewd during the off-season in recruiting players that have added plenty of value to their squad.
They shape as the team to beat in the race to the grand final trophy this year, though the likes of Cringila and Wollongong Olympic will also have plenty to say about that.
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