Liverpool’s hopes of a top two finish in the NBL Division Three are over after an 82-78 defeat at Manchester Swarm.

Joe Parkinson and Phil Deveney top scored for Liverpool, with 24 and 22 points respectively, while Josh Houghton and Nathan Schall ran the show for Swarm, with 21 and 17.

From the first quarter and throughout the game shooting accuracy proved to be the difference as Swarm enjoyed a higher conversion rate with their shots compared to Liverpool.

Jason Wroe’s aggressive and direct dribbling kicked off offensive plays for the home side, with the number five targeting the paint frequently.

Swarm went into the second quarter with a three-point lead, as Liverpool trailed 27-24.

However, Liverpool enjoyed a much more fruitful second quarter, as nine points from Deveney helped Liverpool to establish a slender one-point lead, at 45-46.

Coach Jay Bradshaw rallies the troops

But as the game went on, Swarm showed their quality, with Barry Webster and Kieran Forsythe particularly instrumental in swinging the game back in favour of the Mancunians.

The mountain-like Webster defended well, using his height to win rebounds and screen during offensive plays.

Into the final 10 minutes and Liverpool trailed by 65-58, with Parkinson and Deveney struggling to keep up their point scoring in the third quarter.

Forsythe and Wroe shone the brightest for Swarm in the final quarter, as the likes of Joe Etherington, Dan Walsh and Parkinson giving their all to try and claw Liverpool back into the game.

But it was not to be, as Liverpool were eventually bettered by four points.

Liverpool now turn their aims to finishing third, in the hopes that it is enough to secure them a playoff place.