A BATTLING Great Western Lions outfit couldn't hold on against a Penshurst side fighting for a place in the Mininera District Football League finals.
Penshurst kicked three late unanswered goals to steal victory moments before the final siren sounded in Saturday's clash.
With pride on the line the Great Western Lions, buoyed by the return of several key players, were more than willing to put their bodies on the line.
Coach Nick Thomas and BJ Burton led the way through the middle of the ground, while Nathan Ringin, starting in the forward line, provided a spark for the Lions in attack.
Penshurst were again shown the way by coach and star onballer Justin Eales who found the ball at will in the first half.
It was the class of Eales and Tim McGregor again in the second term along with utility Ben Hunt who drove Penshurst forward on countless occasions, resulting in a six goal to one second quarter.
With the Lions struggling under the Penshurst pressure, they let themselves down by foot through the middle of the ground, continuing to turn the ball over at crucial times.
Costly turnovers allowed Penshurst to set up a 21 point lead at the main break.
Lions coach Nick Thomas presented his players with a simple ultimatum at half time, they could take the easy way out and allow Penshurst to run away with the game, or fight their way back into the contest. To the team's credit, they responded to their coach's call.
Danny Grellet was superb across half back for the Lions, even entertaining the Great Western crowd with a high flying mark in the centre of the ground.
Youngster Tom McCord was set the task of halting the influence of prolific ball winner Justin Eales and was able to reduce his impact.
Lachie Malloy and Sam Cocks were then able to get into the game through the middle of the ground and set up a narrow lead going into the final term.
Great Western worked their way to a sixteen point lead with just ten minutes remaining in the final term and with what looked to be a knee injury to Penshurst coach Eales, the Lions looked all but home.
However, as the minutes went by the Lions grew shaky, coughing up the ball through the centre.
Penshurst managed to haul in the deficit and hold on for a two points win.
With matches against the top teams in the final two rounds, it will be a tough run home for Great Western.