The La Trobe University Bendigo Pioneers suffered a heartbreaking two-point loss to the Tasmania Devils in Sunday's NAB League under-18 boys clash at the QEO.
The Pioneers looked set to break their three-game losing streak when a Jake Dick-O'Flaherty goal put them 10 points in front at 23-minute mark of the final quarter.
However, the Devils had other ideas.
A goal from Isaac Chugg 90 seconds later reduced Bendigo's lead to four points before Jye Menzie kicked the match-winning goal with only four seconds remaining on the clock.
The Devils won 11.10 (76) to 11.8 (74) to move to a 3-3 record, while the Pioneers are 2-4 after six matches.
The Pioneers had played well to get into a winning position.
Heading into time-on of the third quarter the Pioneers trailed Tassie by 20 points.
Late goals to Sam Conforti and Riley Clarke gave the Pioneers some momentum heading into the final term.
Menzie extended Tassie's lead with the first goal of the final term before the Pioneers turned the game on its head.
A three-goal burst in six minutes gave them the lead.
The Devils regained the lead at the 18-minute mark before Braydon Vaz and Dick-O'Flaherty kicked back-to-back goals to put the Pioneers in what appeared to be a winning position until Tassie controlled the final 100 seconds of the game.
Midfielder Conforti was best for the Pioneers ahead of Will Wallace, Sean O'Farrell, Josh Treacy and impressive rookies Jack Hickman and Jack Ginnivan.
The Pioneers have a home game in Echuca next Saturday.
They'll host the Sandringham Dragons at Victoria Park in Echuca from 1pm.
Meanwhile, the Pioneers under-18 girls finished their NAB League season with a 26-point loss to Oakleigh.
Scoreless second and third quarters cost the Pioneers dearly as they went down 7.8 (50) to 4.0 (24) at the QEO.
The Pioneers matched the Chargers early in the game.
First term goals to Brooke Hards and Elizabeth Snell saw the Pioneers go into quarter-time level with Oakleigh on the scoreboard.
The visitors took over in the second and third terms as the Pioneers struggled to create scoring opportunities.
Five unanswered goals gave Oakleight a match-winning six-goal lead at three quarter-time.
To the Pioneers' credit they fought the game out strongly and won the final quarter thanks to goals from Tahlia Coad and Snell.
Maeve Tupper rounded ou a superb season by being named Bendigo's best player.
Hards, Snell, and Dakota Villiva also performed well for the Pioneers.
Bendigo finished the season in seventh place with a 4-5 record - a vast improvement on last year's record of 1-8.
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