Owls’ loss dents their top four aspirations

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
Barking Owls’ Sam Finigan gets past Railways’ Cyrus Upson earlier this season.
Camera IconBarking Owls’ Sam Finigan gets past Railways’ Cyrus Upson earlier this season. Credit: Laurie Benson

Last year’s grand finalists Barking Owls sit on a knife’s edge heading into the last regular round after slipping up against Railways Tigers on Tuesday night to leave their finals hopes up in the air.

Owls have won only one of their last four games and slipped out of the top four after a nine-point defeat, with only five players taking to the floor in the round 15 clash.

The fourth-placed Tigers and Owls are level on points heading into the last round, with Tigers guaranteed two points given they have the bye.

Owls must win their final game against Blazers to push their way back into the top four.

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Railways blew the margin out to 16 points with three minutes left in the first half after Kyle Smith hit a late triple.

Owls dug deep as Tristan Mackenzie stepped up to hit four straight three pointers, trimming the deficit to a single point with 15 minutes left in the second half.

Railways responded with the next 10 points to take control once again as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

The lead was cut back to seven points at one stage but Railways held firm to win, 57-48, with Hamish McMorran in dominant touch against his former side, netting 17 points while Cyrus Upson added 11.

Mackenzie hit 17 points for Barking Owls while youngsters Xavier Brenton-Reed (12 points) and Liam Murdock (10) played solid roles.

Tigers pushed their way into the top four after outscoring Raiders in both halves, eventually coasting to a 32-point victory.

Tigers’ tall trio Bodhi Holmes (21), Tim Button (9) and Corey Hill (13) got the job done as they recorded a 66-34 result.

Reigning premiers Knights hung on to edge out Ambassadors.

Knights, led by Henry Alforque who dropped 27 points, were able to hang on to top spot after recording a 76-74 win.

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