THE heat will be on from the first bowl until the last in many of Saturday afternoon's division one matches in Bendigo pennant bowls.
As they line up for the final round of the regular season, six teams are still in the premiership race.
The sixth-placed Golden Square faces a huge challenge on the greens of the ladder-leading Eaglehawk.
In a season affected by the heat, the fourth-placed Bendigo and fifth-placed Castlemaine are locked on 109 points.
Bendigo holds a 33-shot lead on Castlemaine and will be desperate to take the points on Kangaroo Flat's greens in Saturday's play.
The third-placed Kangaroo Flat is on the rebound from a 24-shot loss at Bendigo East.
Being at home is an advantage the Roos will aim to capitalise on.
Bendigo is equally determined to hit back after a 14-shot loss at home to Castlemaine last round.
Knowing a defeat is likely to end its season, Bendigo will be fired up for this contest on the Station Street rinks.
Eaglehawk will be aiming to carry momentum into the finals when it plays Golden Square on the Borough's turf in Simpsons Road.
Eaglehawk and Golden Square both won last round.
The Hawks won by 34 shots at Inglewood.
Golden Square was pushed all the way by South Bendigo, but held on to win by four.
The Castlemaine line-up is at home for its big clash with Inglewood.
Last Saturday's victory on Bendigo's greens kept the 'Maine in the race for the premiership.
Bring that same sort of form to Saturday afternoon's match and Castlemaine is likely to take the points.
Bendigo East is likely to seal second spot when it plays on South Bendigo's greens.
East teamed brilliantly to outbowl Kangaroo Flat last round.
Although in seventh place on the ladder, South Bendigo has shown it's no pushover.
Standings in the BBD's division one competition:
Eaglehawk 143 points, 238 shots up; Bendigo East 127, 63; Kangaroo Flat 111, 34; Bendigo 109, 54; Castlemaine 109, 21; Golden Square 108, -55; South Bendigo 49, -165; Inglewood 36, -190.
Meanwhile, preliminary finals in the BBD's midweek pennant will be played on Monday.
Roll-up from 9.30am. Play starts at 10am.
Division 1: Inglewood v Golden Square at Bendigo.
Division 2: South Bendigo v Kangaroo Flat at Eaglehawk.
Division 3: Golden Square v Heathcote at Kangaroo Flat.
Division 4: South Bendigo v Calivil-Serpentine at Eaglehawk.
Division 5: Lockwood South v Bendigo East at Kangaroo Flat.
Teams through to the March 3 grand finals are Bendigo East, divisions 1 and 2; Marong, division. 3; Castlemaine, division 4; Strathfieldsaye, division 5.