The Bendigo Pioneers narrowly missed out on scoring one of the club's best wins in recent seasons on Sunday.
The Pioneers led second-placed Gippsland Power for much of their NAB League clash at the QEO before the visitors rallied late to pinch a 10-point win.
The Power kicked four of the final five goals of the game to win 10.13 (73) to 9.9 (63).
"We felt we had little opportunities in every quarter that we didn't just quite capitalise on,'' Pioneers' coach Rick Coburn said.
"In the end they added up to a few scoring chances that we didn't convert, or that we didn't get the chance to convert through some turnovers.
"Overall, we're pretty happy with the way we played. We're playig a good brand of footy at the moment.
"To take on the second team on the ladder and have our noses in front in the final quarter shows we're not far off it."
The Pioneers started superbly and kicked four of the first five goals of the game.
The Pioneers led by 19 points when impressive midfielder Riley Wilson kicked his second goal of the game at the start of the second term.
The Power eventually found their groove and they responded strongly by kicking four of the next five goals to cut Bendigo's lead to three points at the main break.
The third quarter was an arm-wrestle, with both sides struggling to hit the scoreboard.
It took 17 minutes for the first goal of the term to be kicked by the Power.
Bendigo key forward Josh Treacy replied four minutes later to give the home side a one-point advantage going into the final term.
When Jack Ginnivan and Seamus Mitchell kicked the opening two goals of the last quarter, the Pioneers had a two-goal lead and it appeared as though they were on track to record an upset win.
However, the Power lifted their intensity and back-to-back goals gave them the lead at the 17-minute mark.
A fine running goal from Noah Walsh gave the Pioneers the lead again with three minutes remaining.
In the dying minutes the Power won some crucial stoppages and forced Bendigo to turn the ball over.
A Mason McGarrity goal lifted the Power to a three-point lead before Fraser Phillips kicked truly after the final siren to seal the win.
"We were on top of Gippsland for 10 minutes in the third quarter and that was our chance to put a gap on them, but we didn't make the most of our opportunities,'' Coburn said.
"It was a little similar for different parts of the last quarter. They're a good side, so they were always going to come at us."
Wilson was best for the Pioneers with two goals and 20 possessions.
Brady Rowles (15 possessions) and Riley Ironside (25 possessions) did some damage off half-back, while Sam Conforti and Ginnivan continued their good form.
The Pioneers finish the home and away season in 11th place with a 5-10 record.
They now play the Northern Knights in next week's wildcard round.
The winner of that game advances to the NAB League finals.
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