ALBURY-Wodonga Spitfires crashed out of finals contention with a 4-1 loss to Old Canberrans in Canberra on Saturday.
Missing several key players due to state commitments, the Spitfires were found wanting early and struggled to get back into the contest.
Old Canberrans led 3-0 at half-time with Spitfire Dom Wild scoring a late goal for the Border side.
Tim Jones and Joe Forster also battled bravely against the odds.
"It's all a learning curve for the boys," team manager Tony Towne said.
"We won't be playing finals, but hopefully we can come out and finish the season strongly against St Pats and United.
"We had a few opportunities but sometimes it's a game of inches.
"Our second half was better than the first."
The loss leaves the Spitfires eight points behind their fourth-placed opponents.
The Spitfires' women forfeited their match against Old Canberrans.