There are three games left in the 2021 North Pilbara Football League season and the top four is nearly locked in. The Dampier Sharks have secured first spot on the ladder after going on an unbeaten streak this season while Karratha Kats have all but locked in second place. Port Hedland Rovers and Wickham Wolves are split by just two points to round out the top four with the South Hedland Swans hoping a late rally can be enough to sneak into finals. Unfortunately for the Karratha Falcons their season is all but over after recording just two wins and one draw in the campaign. With some teams looking to next year and others to the Holy Grail, Pilbara News chatted to each of the teams’ coaches about their 2021 season so far. Dampier Sharks The Dampier Sharks have stunned the competition this year, placed top of the ladder after 12 unbeaten runs. Dampier Sharks league coach Steven Dodd said it had been a breakout season for the boys from Windy Ridge. “Hopefully, we can finish off the year well and both teams have qualified for the finals, so they’re looking forward to getting stuck into that and it’s going to be a big challenge for us,” he said. “We’ll just take one week at a time, so the challenge after the bye will be to play the Rovers and hopefully put a good performance on the board.” Dodd said his charges needed to make sure they were putting their best put forward. “We’ll stay focused and make sure that we continue to play our style of football,” he said. Karratha Kats The Karratha Kats are placed second on the ladder with a massive 20-point gap behind the Sharks and six points ahead of the Rovers. Kats league coach Craig Baker said it had been a mixed season in terms of wins and losses. “We’ve lost a few games by less than a kick or two so I see them as winnable opportunities but in defence of that, we’ve had quite a few injuries to key players,” he said. “The last three games we’re hoping to build a game style that we know will hold up in finals, obviously grand final is the goal and the premiership’s the ultimate accomplishment.” Baker said he was looking forward to the last three games and believed his side had more to give come finals time. “It’s really up to the individual to prepare as best as he can and to give us a bit more commitment in terms of training and preparation when you’re not at training,” he said. “It’s those little things, the stretching, the rehabilitation, recovery and diet.” Port Hedland Rovers The Rovers are precariously placed third on the ladder, only two points ahead of Wickham Wolves and just six points behind the Karratha Kats. A loss to cross-town rivals the South Hedland Swans is not the ideal lead in to the bye but Coach Rick Hockey said he is positive about their future as they approach finals. “We could slip down the ladder but we could also get ourselves into second position, that’s the positive way we are looking at it,” he said. “Getting consistency in the team, structure and performing at our optimum is what is what we are looking at to get us through to finals.” Hockey said the group are not looking too far ahead but are still excited about a finals berth. “Every game we go out to win and it’s one game at a time and then we think about the next one, the ladder takes care of itself after that,” he said. “This is what we work hard for and go through the pre-season for, it is to play in finals and go as far as we can.” Wickham Wolves The Wickham Wolves are fourth on the ladder with 20 points after having played 12 games. Wolves senior coach Cameron Ling said it had been an up-and-down season. “Moving forward, we’re going to train on more of our fitness and skills and game plans,” he said. “We know Dampier have surrendered top spot but we really want to push for that second spot so we can play them off in the finals.” Ling said the next few games will be challenging. Wolves will face last-placed Falcons in round 13 this Saturday at Wickham oval. South Hedland Swans The reigning premiers sit just outside the top four on 16 points but are still a chance of making finals, only four points behind Wickham Wolves. The Swans showed impressive form recently as they snatched two consecutive derby victories against rivals the Port Hedland Rovers. South Hedland coach Trevor Dhu Sr said his team will look to avenge their losses earlier in the year while developing the youth. “Every team that has beat us this year, we are looking to get back at them and stay within touch of the finals,” he said. “We’re trying to give the young kids an opportunity to play some senior football and I’m quite happy where we are.” The Swans face a tough challenge in their run home as they host the Karratha Kats, who are second on the ladder and the undefeated Dampier Sharks away. The South Hedland side will have an eye towards Wickham’s remaining fixtures as they rely on them dropping games for a chance to claim a top-four finish. Karratha Falcons The Karratha Falcons are last on the ladder with nine losses and only two wins this season. Karratha Falcons president Beau Corps said it had been a disappointing season. “There were three games that were relatively close that could’ve potentially gone our way and we pushed some of the top teams pretty hard all the way,” he said. Corps said the club had great numbers all year and was improving. “I think next year we’ll be better again,” he said.