THE Bendigo District Cricket Association premiership race is down to five teams.
Defeats for Huntly North Epsom and Strathfieldsaye on Saturday put them out of the race for the top four heading into the Christmas break.
As expected, the big four clubs remain in the hunt - Golden Square (42 points, 1st), Strathdale-Maristians (36, 2nd), Bendigo United (30, 4th) and Eaglehawk (30, 5th).
The surprise packet stuck in the middle of the big four is third-placed White Hills.
The Demons continued their great form on Saturday, upstaging Bendigo United in a thriller at Harry Trott Oval.
The victory puts the Demons one game clear of Bendigo United and Eaglehawk.
White Hills will regain former skipper Gavin Bowles after the Christmas break, with the star batsman back in Bendigo after a stint overseas.
The left-hander will add some class to the Demons' top-order.
Eaglehawk, which scored a 57-run win over Bendigo on Saturday, will be boosted by the return Richard Tibbett.
The paceman is back with the Hawks after spending the first half of the season playing with Richmond in Melbourne Premier Cricket.
Tibbett, who is recovering from groin and hip injuries, played in the third XI for Eagehawk on Saturday as a batsman.
Eaglehawk has the easiest run home after Christmas and looks well-placed to push inside the top four.
Defending champions Strathdale has the toughest run home in the competition and needs to play at its best just to qualify for the finals.
The Suns play Golden Square twice, Eaglehawk, Bendigo United and Huntly North Epsom.