The Maitland netball season has passed the halfway mark - and perhaps not surprisingly, the 'big four' have again emerged as the teams to beat.
With last season's champions, The Stangas - the Maitland Mustangs' basketball women - returning to their own sport, this season's netball title appears wide open.
Once again Hills Solicitors and The George Tavern - powerhouse teams for the best part of 10 years - are right in the mix, with Club Maitland City and NVY Comets also looking formidable.
The pick of the 'outsiders' is the young EMNC Brazen Fitness side who have been highly competitive in pushing the top sides. But this season is probably too early for them.
So, on the surface it seems a race in four.
Hills skipper and shooter Mel Morris acknowledged her team's ongoing rivalry with The George and expects the champions to come from the four teams.
"The George are younger than us - then again, most teams are," she said with a laugh. "We're mostly mums coming back from having babies or from injuries - we have one girl coming back from her second ACL. So The George are definitely younger and fitter than our girls.
"I think that has taken a bit of pressure off us though. We're just having fun."
We asked Comets captain Kiona Sunerton, whose team have had their own injury concerns, to run the rule over the big four. Here's how she sees it ...
The George Tavern
"To me, they're favourites . . . the ones to beat. They're on top of the ladder now and that's no coincidence.
"They're the most consistent side and have a core of experienced players who have played together for a while. Because they've been up for a long time they also have the big match experience which means they'll handle the pressure of finals netball."
Club Maitland City
"We played them the other week and went down in a tight one. They're one of the more experienced teams in it ... uncompromising, consistent. They don't seem to do anything outstanding, but just enough to win. They find a way.
"You know they're going to play hard, and as an opponent you're going to have to keep it up for the four quarters or they'll come over the top of you. They're a chance all right."
"They've been a top side for 10 years and that means they deserve respect.
"We were due to play them in the opening round but it was rained out, so we played them for the first time on Saturday. It was a tough match just as we knew it would be, and we went down 50-44.
"They have a quality goal shooter in Mel Morris and as long as she's fit, they're a force. She's very hard to contain - any team will tell you that - and for me, she's the key. They don't have the young legs of some of the other sides, but they have loads of experience."
"We've been injury riddled and it has made it hard. Because of that we have been struggling to get our consistency. We have had to use days players from A2 in virtually every game. But the good thing is that 14 and 15-year-olds like Erin Hollier, my daughter Tahni, Amelia Faalua and Charlotte Rienecken have stepped up and done really well for us.
"We'll get our top side on the field soon, but with so much of the season gone, we'll be cutting it fine to get our combinations working smoothly. Playing as a unit will be the big issue.
"But to be sitting within striking distance, and being very competitive, it's a promising sign for us. We only went down by three to Club Maitland City and against the George, we only had six players for half the game. So it's a bit hard to run the rule over us ... I guess we're a bit of a dark horse."
"I've been really impressed by EMNC Brazen Fitness. They're young and I can't see them beating the top sides just yet, but they're going to be a force if they can keep their side together."