Central were outright last on the Newcastle Rugby League ladder a month ago.
Four straight wins later and the Butcher Boys are sitting third, not only a strong chance to make the semis but they now have control of their own destiny.
A win over Kurri at home in Sunday's last round would seal a finals berth and a second bite at the premiership cherry while a loss, depending on other results, could still be enough to feature in the 2019 play-offs.
However, Central coach Phil Williams is well aware they can still miss out entirely with only two points between them and sixth-placed Cessnock.
Lakes were Central's latest scalp, knocking off the Seagulls 28-18 at Cahill Oval on Saturday, rolling on from victories against Maitland, Souths and Lakes again in quick succession.
It means the Butcher Boys, when you throw in a 30-all draw with Cessnock in round 12, haven't been beaten since a 61-0 thumping by leaders Wests on July 14.
Williams doesn't want all that recent hard work to be wasted.
"We're not entrenched in there [top five] yet," Williams said.
"If we lose this weekend we could still miss out.
"We'll know by 4:45 on Saturday arvo [after Souths v Cessnock at Townson Oval] how it's all fallen and what we need.
"But the best thing is we can control it, we're not affected by other results [if we just win]."
Williams reckons there has been a "spring in the step" at St John Oval during this latest string of success.
The mentor, in his first campaign at Central, has praised "young guys stepping up to the plate".
"We've had eight or 10 debutants this year so it's very pleasing," Williams said.
"A lot of the young guys have been learning how to play first grade on the run but they are responding."
Williams said that was evident in round 15.
"When someone made a mistake the people around them tidied it up," he said. "It was refreshing to see."
Williams said hooker Cody Bryant, halfback Brad Murray, fullback Cameron Anderson and skipper Ethan Cook were the stand outs for the Butcher Boys on the weekend.
Anderson landed a hat-trick of tries, Cook also crossed the stripe and Murray kicked four out of five conversions.
Central trailled by four early but went to break up 18-4.
Elsewhere on Saturday and the Bulldogs defeated Souths for the second time in the space of a month, overcoming the defending premiers 24-18 in a try-for-try battle at Kurri Sportsground.
Kurri are now equal third with Maitland, who lost 16-10 to Macquarie at Lyall Peacock Field, while Souths remain second.
Wests smashed hosts Cessnock 57-0.
LADDER: Wests 26; Souths 18; Central 15; Kurri, Maitland 14; Cessnock 13; Macquarie, Lakes 10.