Rake's Rave: Can Centrals challenge the big three?

There's a pre-finals buzz surrounding the Peel Football and Netball League, with just a fortnight remaining until we enter the post-season.

Rightly so, the bulk of that hype is centred around the tied-up top three of Rockingham, Baldivis and Pinjarra, but there's a team on the cusp they may want to keep a keen eye on.

Centrals have been steadily making a case for themselves in recent weeks, having won three of their past four as they look to head into the finals in good form.

Their past two weeks have seen them best Mandurah in an arm-wrestle, before picking up what was probably a well-needed big win over Halls Head to just reaffirm some confidence.

So it begs the question: Are they good enough to knock off the top sides and make a deep finals run?

The Blues are hoping to enter the finals in hot form. Photo: Justin Rake.

The Blues are hoping to enter the finals in hot form. Photo: Justin Rake.

Fortunately, we won't have to wait long for the answer as they face a grueling final two weeks against Baldivis and Pinjarra.

But while they'll no doubt head into both games as underdogs, I get the feeling the Blues are bullish about their chances.

No denying it has been an up and down year for the Mundijong-based squad. Their form has fluctuated throughout and they've dropped the odd game that should have been a cake walk here and there.

But through all that they've maintained their status as a finals-bound team, and (judging from the outside) they've maintained this quiet confidence that come crunch time they'll be a team to be reckoned with.

It was a similar feel last year when they conjured a stellar run in the back half of the season to storm into a grand final berth.

Granted, they've left things a bit late this time around, but they still have the talent on the field to cause some headaches with the likes of Jacob Martinez, Brett Hill, Grant Dunn and Callum Marshall in the side.

Now by no means am I proclaiming them grand final fancies, and I'm not penning them in to be a significant player in the finals just yet.

But should the Blues topple Baldivis or Pinjarra (or perhaps both), then they will be viewed as a serious threat in the following weeks.