ORANGE Wanderers' finals hopes are still alive despite suffering a 4-2 men's Premier League Hockey loss to Parkes United on Saturday.
The loss keeps Wanderers in fifth on 16 points, four points behind fourth-placed Bathurst Souths with two rounds remaining in the regular season.
Parkes leap-frogged Souths into third (22 points) after Saturday's win in Orange.
Wanderers' finals chances could hang on the next round when they host Souths in a must-win game for both sides.
Souths play competition heavyweights Lithgow Panthers in the final round while Wanderers are drawn to play the bottom-placed Lithgow Zig Zag.
"Potentially there's two games we should win but we need to come to play hockey," Wanderers captain Alex Said explained.
"Now we control what happens. Fingers crossed we make the finals."
In the game against Parkes on Saturday, Wanderers were looking good early when Said converted a chance just five minutes in.
"I was pretty happy with the start," he said.
"We wanted to start strong and be good from the get go and we scored in the first seven minutes. It was a good build up by us and I was lucky enough to be on the end of it."
However, Parkes came back in a big way with Jack Elliott, Kurt Lovett and Andrew Bourke helping the visitors to a 3-1 lead at the break.
Wanderers were able to close the gap to 3-2 when Nick Sharp converted some individual brilliance.
"There as a break in the game, Nick picked up the ball, got past two defenders and flicked it over the keeper," the captain said.
"It was a great individual goal. It was a great goal to watch."
Parkes extended its lead to 4-2 when Elliott bagged his second for the match and the Wanderers weren't able to hit back.
Still, Said found positives in the game.
"I think we played all over them in the second half. We were dictating what was happening. That's a promising sign," he explained.
"We just need to string it all together."
Sharp was strong up front for Wanderers and Said also praised young centre Hayden Dillon.
"Hayden Dillon in the centre is a major stand out. He's smaller and get pushed around but he still gives 110 per cent," the captain said.
PARKES UNITED 4 (Jack Elliott 2, Kurt Lovett, Andrew Bourke) def ORANGE WANDERERS 2 (Alex Said, Nick Sharp)