The dream is over.
Tatura’s finals aspirations have come to a premature halt after it was comprehensively beaten by Strathdale on Sunday.
With three rounds left to play the Ibises needed a win to keep their season alive, however, it was the visitors who romped home to a 6-1 victory.
Third-placed Strathdale opened the scoring in the 14th minute through winger Ryan Clegg, but an immediate response from the Ibises, who were playing at Howley Oval, leveled proceedings.
Attacking midfielder Tristan Zito equalised two minutes later to notch his 13th goal in 18 games and with the scores then locked at one-all at half-time, Brent Mathers instructed his side to push on.
With a win at the forefront of the host’s mind, Mathers opted for three at the back and for his players to play with freedom.
As a result, the visitors scored five goals in 15 minutes to not only secure all three points but to put the final nail in the Ibises’ coffin.
‘‘It was a strange game, we dominated some parts and then it was just disappointing to see the lack of fight when we went down late in the second,’’ Mathers said.
‘‘The boys just gave up, there was no man marking, they had no desire to continue to fight out the result.’’
The mathematically impossible task has Mathers’ side needing seven points out of a possible six, and that is if results fell in their favour.
‘‘We set out to play finals, that was our goal to start the season and of course, it is disappointing to miss out,’’ Mathers said.
‘‘We haven’t had the best of seasons, we’ve had injuries, suspensions, players go overseas and what not — but that has been the case with most teams’’
The Ibises currently sit sixth on the table and after 18 games Mathers’ side has conceded 39 goals, the most of any side who was vying for a finals berth.
On average the Ibises conceded just more than two goals a game and against the competition’s top four teams this season, they have conceded a mammoth 25 goals in seven games.
With nothing to play for Mathers will watch over his side as it takes on Eaglehawk this weekend before finishing the season at home to Colts United.