The Bendigo Bank Cats have fallen to Williamstown in their round 20 clash at Avalon Airport Oval on Sunday.
The Cats looked gone mid-way through the final term before a late flurry of goals gave them a sniff, but they ran out of time, going down 11.14 (80) to 10.11 (71).
The Cats were slow out of the gates with Williamstown dominant in the opening term, piling on five goals to one to take a 25-point lead into the quarter time break.
James Parsons and Rhys Stanley did their best to spark the Cats in the second term.
Parsons in particular was influential with 16 touches and a goal in the first half.
Both sides kicked two goals apiece as the Seagulls made the most of their chances in attack to take a 26-point lead into the main break.
Sam Menegola came out firing at the start of the second half as the Cats mounted a challenge.
He hit Wylie Buzza on the lead to kick the opening goal of the third quarter within 40 seconds.
A brilliant tap from Zac Smith found Sam Simpson shortly afterwards, with Simpson kicking a classy goal off a couple of steps to cut the margin to just 14 points.
Williamstown halted Geelong’s momentum with their tackling pressure and better transition helping them to a 22-point lead at the final break.
The rain started to fall at the start of the final term and it was Williamstown who adapted best to the conditions, opening up a 36-point lead after piling on the first two goals of the term.
Just as it looked like it was going to turn ugly for the Cats, their big men helped them wrestle back the momentum and mount a late comeback.
Two goals to Stanley and one each to Darcy Fort and Jake Tarca saw the Cats cut the margin to 10 points.
Fort had a late opportunity to get the Cats within a goal with just 50 seconds on the clock, but he pushed his shot wide.
The Cats falling to just their second loss in the past eight weeks. However, they can take plenty of positives from the loss against a quality side.
They face another tough challenge next week against fellow premiership fancy Essendon at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday.
The match will be televised on Seven with the first bounce at 11.40am.
VFL Round 20
Bendigo Bank Cats 10.11 (71) defeated by Williamstown 11.14 (80)
Goals: Buzza 3, Stanley 2, Fort, Menegola, Parsons, Simpson, Tarca
Best: Menegola, Stanley, Selwood, Buzza, Simpson, Kennerley
Reports: Gore (Rough Conduct)
@Avalon Airport Oval