Close, but no cigar.
It's been the story of the Bendigo Pioneers' first five NAB League games.
Sunday's round five loss to the Gippsland Power at the QEO was a carbon copy of previous matches this season.
The Pioneers played patches of brilliant footy, looked capable of winning, but costly lapses ultimately meant they came up short.
The Power stretched their unbeaten streak to five by defeating the Pioneers, 13.16 (94) to 12.5 (77).
"It was disappointing,'' Pioneers' coach Danny O'Bree said.
"We got four goals ahead (in the first half), but as soon as we get that far up we seem to get that far down.
Read more: Catch up on the latest local footy news
"For some reason we went back into our shells again.
"For five weeks we've dished up the same stuff."
The Pioneers led by three points at half-time, but the Power kicked 4.0 to 0.5 in the third quarter to take control of the match.
Midfielder Oskar Faulkhead was best for the Pioneers on Sunday.
"I thought Oskar was clearly our best player,'' O'Bree said.
"His willingness to win his own footy and power out of a contest has been really good.
"His ball use, which is something we've tried to concentrate on him with, has really improved and he's getting rewarded for the work he has put in."
Skipper Harvey Gallagher kicked three goals in his first match back from injury, while Harley Reid did some good things through the middle and across half-forward.
For the second week in a row defender Pala Kuma was one of the Pioneers' best.
"He's a good footballer and he's still learning because he's quite raw,'' O'Bree said of Robinvale-based Kuma.
"What I really like about him for a bottom-ager is his leadership qualities. He's all about the team and trying to make others better.
"We played him forward the first two games and he looked really good and then we put him back and he's gone from strength-to-strength."
The Pioneers' next NAB League match is not until May 29 against the Calder Cannons.
Gippsland Power 13.16 (94) d Bendigo Pioneers 12.5 (77)
Goals - Pioneers: Harvey Gallagher 3, Jason Gillbee, Jed Brereton 2, Bode Stevens, Lachlan Wright, Eli Pearce, Patrick Kelly, Hugh Hamilton.
Best - Pioneers: Oskar Faulkhead, Harvey Gallagher, Harley Reid, Bode Stevens, Benjamin Cameron, Jason Gillbee.
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