ALL of a sudden we are up to Round 5 of the 2020 Optus WAFL Women's Premiership Season and with only two rounds to go after this, the battle for positions in the final top four are reaching fever pitch.
The shortened 2020 WAFLW season will feature seven rounds in the home and away campaign before the finals get underway.
So all of a sudden while it might still feel like it's early in the season, suddenly Round 5 signals the beginning of the final three weeks of the home and away campaign and every game takes on extra importance with spots in that top four becoming tough to secure.
The matches in Round 5 are tantalising as well with Peel and Subiaco fighting over top spot while Swan Districts and Claremont try to maintain their spots in the top four and East Fremantle is trying to break in.
That sets up a tantalising weekend of female football action which all gets underway with the top-of-the-table contest between Peel Thunder and Subiaco at Mandurah's David Grays Arena.
It will be played under lights and bounce down is set for 5.10pm straight after the WAFL men's contest between the same two teams.
Subiaco sits on top of the WAFLW ladder after four rounds having yet to taste defeat in 2020 on the back of last year's season that saw them claim the minor premiership but bow out in the preliminary final.
Peel, meanwhile, finished dead last in 2019 but the Thunder have pulled off an impressive turnaround so far this year to now have won three of their four games and if they can win by a big enough margin on Saturday night, they could even rise to the top of the ladder.
Either way the winner of the clash will be virtually secured of a finals berth while the loser will still have some work to do with two rounds remaining.
From the Peel team that won against Claremont last week, there is just the one change with Cassie Davidson coming into the side and Greta McKinley going out.
Subiaco, meanwhile, has made five changes with Beatrice Devlyn, Claudia Langley, Tylor McIntosh, Ange Stannett and Caitlin Walker the inclusions. Jacqueline Toth, Tiah Haynes, Taylisha Brown and Phillippa Pienaar are the players to go out for the Lions.
South Fremantle then returns home to Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Sunday afternoon with the Bulldogs hosting last year's Grand Finalists Swan Districts from 1pm.
The Bulldogs are still yet to come close to a win in the WAFLW competition, but after starting off the season with scoreless performances against East Fremantle and Peel Thunder, they did score one goal against Claremont and then two last week against Subiaco.
So they are showing signs of improvement but Sunday afternoon will be another significant test against a Swan Districts team who reached the Grand Final last year and need to win this game to maintain their place in the top four.
South Fremantle has made seven changes to the side that lost to Subiaco last Saturday morning at Leederville Oval.
Emily Boothman, Ebony Clarkson, Tara Garlett, Zoe Huggett, Ebony Humble, Chae-Lee Salbie and Poppy Stockwell are the players to come in for the Bulldogs. Stockwell is fresh off kicking six goals in the Youth Girls Rogers Cup win over Subiaco last Friday night.
Milla Bickmore, Darcy Clements, Hannah Felton, Mel Silcock, Chloe Taylor, Maya Tyrrell and Sarah Wright are the players to go out of the South Fremantle line-up.
Swan Districts has made two changes to its side with Courtney Lindgren and Ashley Sharp coming in at the expense of Bianca Webb and Shannon Matthews.
The last game of the round is then at 2.15pm on Sunday afternoon with East Fremantle taking on Claremont at East Fremantle's New Choice Homes Park.
This is another game with plenty at stake with East Fremantle needing to win or all but see their finals hopes disappear while Claremont also must win to maintain their hold on a position in the top four.
The Sharks have won just one of four matches this season coming off winning last year's inaugural WAFLW premiership while the Tigers are 2-2 after the opening four rounds.
OPTUS WAFLW PREMIERSHIP SEASON - ROUND 5
PEEL THUNDER (3-1, 2nd) v SUBIACO (3-0, 1st) – DAVID GRAYS ARENA, SATURDAY 5.10PM
Live scores, stats
SOUTH FREMANTLE (0-3, 6th) v SWAN DISTRICTS (2-2, 4th) – FREMANTLE COMMUNITY BANK OVAL, SUNDAY 1.00PM
Live scores, stats
EAST FREMANTLE (1-3, 5th) v CLAREMONT (2-2, 3rd) – NEW CHOICE HOMES PARK, SUNDAY 2.15PM
Live scores, stats
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