Battle for top-four positions intensifies

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Kinjarling Thunder's Gerson Alforque played a part in their win last week.
Camera IconKinjarling Thunder's Gerson Alforque played a part in their win last week. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Four points separate five teams locked in an enthralling battle for top-four spots after both Crabs and Kinjarling Thunder notched vital wins in round 12 of the Albany Basketball Association men’s A-grade competition on Tuesday night.

Crabs had slipped to last place in the standings last week but rebounded strongly to defeat Tigers in a low-scoring scrap.

Wade Eskett hit two long-range baskets and Jayden Scott helped himself to three field goals as Crabs took a 13-point buffer into half-time but it was their effort in restricting Tigers to only three points that was most significant.

Crabs extended their margin in the last half, Eskett hitting two free throws before a Jayden Scott basket and then Eskett’s third triple of the night gave them a 20-point lead and the game was all but done.

Tigers’ disappointing night was evident on the score sheet — no player scoring more than three points as they went down 12-27 at the final whistle.

Eskett (11 points) and Jayden Scott (10) did the damage for the winners as Crabs won a fourth game and climbed within two points of the fourth-placed Tigers.

Kinjarling Thunder improved their record to 5-7 and boosted their hopes of playing finals after holding off a determined second-half comeback from the Raiders under-18 development squad.

After a tight first half, the Thunder gained control as experienced trio Sam Finigan, Jackson Shaw and Stuart Myers helped them out to a 10-point buffer midway through the second half.

Triples from Kyle Smith and Arthur Jones hauled Raiders back into the game late in the piece but the Thunder held firm to grab a four-point victory, 42-38.

The presence of talls Shaw (17) and Finigan (12) troubled Raiders throughout while Henry Alforque (14) nailed three long-range baskets in defeat.

Slick ball movement helped Knights chalk up a 10th straight win, downing Ambassadors by 26 points.

Barking Owls were 30-point victors over The Farm Athletics to maintain second place.

Third place to seventh on the ladder are now separated by only four points.

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