The narrative has been set up for the winner to take all.
Not quite, but close.
Perth and Trevallyn face each other on Saturday, both winless and even as early as November, staring down the barrel of missing the Premier League semi-finals early on.
Second time around after a rain-affected draw to start, one side could be within half a game of the top four.
The change this year from eight to six sides has the two rivals only needing to outplay one other to pinch fourth.
Perth captain John Hayes has grasped the magnitude of the home opportunity.
"We'll probably take some confidence from the win we had over them earlier in the T20 format - in saying that, they were very undermanned in that match," Hayes said. "We're hoping just to put our best foot forward.
"But we now really want to make our ground at Perth where we are really difficult for opposition teams to come and win games of cricket.
"That'll be what our focus is going into this week. It's about confidence because it's been pretty demoralising five or six rounds and not having a win on the board."
The Demons will regain their opening attack again of Matthew and Andrew Rigby, but lose batter Matt Waller.
Trevallyn will be without form runmakers Charles von Stieglitz and Andrew Fitz.
Captain James Whiteley called the occasion "go time".
"A few things fell into place last week - we executed the process we have been harping on about since July when we started preseason. It's just a matter now of replicating it and I am pretty confident if we can, we'll be more than competitive," Whiteley said.
"In saying that, we bowled about 60 extras, which was the game in the end as we only fell about 20-odd short."
Longford remain the only unbeaten side in the Premier League and will enter heavy favourites against ACL.
The changes to the lineups confirm that, but Tigers captain Jackson Blair refuses to underrate the Bluebacks.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
"You look at their side and they have a couple of guys that can take the game from you pretty quickly - Jesse Digney with the bat, John Kedey and Danny Bennett have been in good form with both bat and ball," he said.
"It looks like it will be an interesting match-up."
Paceman Max Magann will return for Longford whereas ACL have got a number of injury worries past Saturday.
Kieran Davey (side strain), Matt Oates (hip flexor) and Cameron Martin (back) are all set to miss for ACL.
Bluebacks captain John Kedey did not mince words on his side's dire position.
"We have got a real backs-against-the-wall mentality to get up this week," he said.
"We know we have a few out with injury and we're playing a quality club over the last five years that have dominated the competition.
"We understand to be a realistic chance, if we bat first we have to bat 40 overs and if we bowl first we have to take 10 wickets otherwise it's going to be a long day. We have been struggling whether it's with one facet of our game."
Hadspen handed a reality check to Beaconsfield when the Premier League rookies showed up for round 1.
Despite the 166-run win, captain Liam Reynolds said the reigning premiers are still searching to play their best.
"We're still trying to spring that perfect sort of a game together," Reynolds said.
"Our batting unit did really well last week to compile near 300, but our bowlers were just a bit off. That's one area we have to focus on. Beaconsfield have got good, quality batters - that's where our bowlers have to be on."
Beaconsfield have learned lessons from the rude awakening against the Chieftains.
The Swans have since not dropped a game, but captain Sean Barry still feels they have a long way to go.
Barry has also been dealt a blow with Sri Lankan import Amal Ranawaka out.
"We did not acquit ourselves too well last time so this time we need to resurrect that performance," he said.
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