The VFL season is over for the Bendigo Gold after its brave fightback fell just short in today's elimination final against Williamstown at North Port Oval.
Trailing by 30 points at the final change the Gold looked dead and buried before a spirited effort saw it reduce the margin to five points late in the last quarter.
However, a turnover from a kick-in in the dying minutes handed Williamstown its only major of the final term which helped seal the match 11.17-83 to 10.11-71 in the Seagulls' favour.
Earlier, the Gold shot out of the blocks with a ferocious first quarter.
Bendigo dominated around the packs and its backline was rock-solid as it held the Seagulls goal-less while kicking three majors of its own - two to Sam Lonergan and another to Jake Stringer - to open a 20-point quarter-time lead.
But the second quarter was a complete turnaround, with Williamstown sparked to life by two goals in as many minutes to Brett Goodes.
The Seagulls kicked six goals to one for the term and took a 14-point lead into the main break.
It was mostly one-way traffic in the third term, with the Seagulls kicking four goals to two to seemingly put the game beyond doubt.
Justin Maddern booted three goals for Bendigo, Sam Lloyd kicked two in the final term, while Matt Little and Jacob Thompson kicked one each.
The loss means the end of the Bendigo-Essendon on-field alignment, which will be formally concluded at the beginning of October.
It is the third season in a row Bendigo has been knocked-out in an elimination final.