It's a little like riders spitting venom while jostling for prime position in the leading bunch after one of them has disappeared into the horizon.
It is a bottleneck situation in the Hawke's Bay limited-overs premier men's club competition, as three teams emerged behind leaders Complete Flooring Napier Technical Old Boys (NTOB).
Taradale CC have dropped out of the race despite a bonus-point six-wicket victory over The Station Napier Old Boys' Marist (NOBM) on Saturday.
That is because Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall, who were 10 points ahead of Taradale, emulated that feat with a 64-run victory over Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay at Ongaonga Domain.
"They tried to deny us a bonus point [so they would have] if they had got to 225 [runs]," Cornwall manager Neil Jackett said after they skittled the hosts for 217 in 47 overs.
While the HBCA website drew blanks on the points table section, Havelock North CC had an agonising 20-run loss to NTOB at Nelson Park, Napier.
That means the villagers and CHB, who were locked on 44 points before the game, do not move.
While Havelock, CHB and Cornwall are assured a semifinals berth with NOTB in a fortnight, this Saturday will decide who will finish second, third and fourth.
Cornwall, like a cyclist facing a daunting uphill ride, will be feeling the tightness in the calf and quads with NTOB their last round-robin game at Nelson Park.
Havelock, on the other hand, should clinch a bonus-point against whipping boys NOBM.
Ditto CHB against Taradale.
"We don't deserve to be in the playoffs because we had some really poor games," player Toby Doyle said of Taradale.
For Cornwall, it will be win - even better with a bonus point - this Saturday or reload for another NTOB match in the semifinals the following weekend.
On Saturday, Cornwall captain Jacob Smith's gamble with lower-order batsman Ben Jackett proved to be an eye opener as he scored 87 from 71 balls, including 11 fours and two sixes.
Michael Taiaroa (67/74 balls), Jayden Wiggins (47/55) and Smith (46/82) made CHB's run chase harder.
"We lost Jayden Waters [opener] who returned to Marlborough for rugby training," Neil Jackett said.
James Mackie (54) and Paul Little (43) contributed to CHB's total but Jonathon Hall, Wiggins and Smith tightened the screws with Charley Crasborn, who was equally frugal in taking 3-12 in cleaning the tail.
Henry Hunter's 6-33 and Angus Schaw's thrifty overs deserve accolades but so did skipper Scott Schaw with three stumpings.
Eddie Torr's 1.14 an over and CD spinner Ajaz Patel's 3-12 (1.2 an over) ensured no NOBM batsmen got over the 25-run mark to be 96 all out in 33.4 overs as Taradale made 100-4.
Allrounder Stevie Smidt's unbeaten 63 (66 balls) and Bronson Meehan's 52 spearheaded NTOB to 237-8.
Kurt Richards and Jeremy Ketel claimed two wickets each but Stu McVeigh's 3-27 from nine overs, including a maiden, suggested he should have been given the full allotment.
Unfortunately, the villagers were guilty of bowling outside their 3h 20m limit, so the umpires docked two overs off their innings.
Havelock managed 217-9 in 48 overs, with captain Todd Astill scoring 74 (83) and McVeigh was 39 not out.
"We just got behind the over rate and were playing catch-up," Astill said.
NTOB gifted 16 wides and three no balls, while Havelock reciprocated with 18 wides and two no balls.
Spinner Meehan (1.9 runs an over) and Indika Senarathne (3.5) stifled the villagers.
NTOB skipper George Diack said having wicket-taking bowlers and those who could yield dot balls were vital.
"We started the competition with the aim of not losing a game but we've already dropped one," Diack said, adding the Cornwall match won't be any different.