THE Bendigo Pioneers surrendered a 23-point lead in the last quarter against a fast-finishing Greater Western Victoria Rebels on Sunday.
The Pioneers looked headed for their sixth win of the season when a Sean O'Farrell goal put them up 84-61 12 minutes into the last term.
However, the Rebels booted the last four goals of the game to charge home and win 13.11 (89) to 13.7 (85) in an entertaining NAB League match at Ballarat's Mars Stadium.
The Pioneers, who had been 29 points up at half-time, had a late chance to steal back the lead, but Noah Walsh's set-shot missed.
"The Rebels played a high-risk, high-reward brand of footy and early in the game it hurt them when we were able to take advantage on the outside and score," Pioneers coach Rick Coburn said.
"But in the last quarter they came hard at us and it was a real war of attrition. Both teams were exhausted at the end and it was just a really entertaining game of footy.
"Both sides played really good footy at times... 13 goals apiece with a lot of talented young blokes going head to head."
Forward Jack Ginnivan booted four goals for the Pioneers and was their best.
Bendigo Pioneers 13.7 (85) lt GWV Rebels 13.11 (89)
Goals - J. Ginnivan 4, W. Wallace, J. Treacy 2, A. Gundry, S. O'Farrell, J. Evans, B. Worme, B. Rowles.
Best - J. Ginnivan, J. Treacy, A. Gundry, J. Schischka, J. Evans, B. Worme.
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