TOO many goals from turnovers hurt the Bendigo Bank Pioneers in Saturday's TAC Cup under-18s clash with Gippsland Power.
After leading by a point at half-time and being within nine points early in the last, Bendigo eventually went down by 34 points at Preston City Oval.
Bendigo went into the contest aiming for three wins in a row.
Despite a 1-8 record leading into the clash, Power showed it would be no pushover in the season's 11th round.
Wayward kicking by Gippsland kept Bendigo within two goals at quarter-time.
The second quarter was the Pioneers best as they scored 4.3 to 2.2.
Gippsland surged clear in the third as the Pioneers rued some poor passes through midfield and into attack.
The Pioneers were first to goal in the fourth quarter, but then missed four or five opportunities to be closer or regain the lead in a match where there was plenty at stake.
Gippsland added three majors in the last 10 minutes.
Bendigo coach David Newett said the loss was disappointing following great wins against NSW-ACT and Geelong Falcons.
"The Power's pressure and intent was at a higher level and for longer than ours," Newett said.
"Some undisciplined play also hurt us at times.
"We were really fighting the game out and were still a great chance in the last, but just made too many mistakes."
After playing in Victoria Country's victory at the national under-18 titles in Perth the previous weekend, Strathfieldsaye's Tom Cole was back in the Pioneers line-up and was a great contributor through midfield.
Liam Barrett at half-back, Lachlan Ryan, and Harry Conway at full-back were the Pioneers best players.
The Pioneers are back at Epsom-Huntly Reserve this Saturday to take on the ladder-leading Oakleigh Chargers.
Meanwhile, Pioneers and South Mildura key defender Josh Ryan played for NSW-ACT in Saturday's national under-18 titles match at Blacktown.
The Rams beat Northern Territory in the division two clash.