AUSSIE RULES: Gladstone Mudcrabs' disappointing and inconsistent season continued on Saturday night.
Travelling to Rockhampton, the Mudcrabs could not get the job done against the Panthers, losing by 31 points.
Panthers keep their finals double-chances alive and are a game behind BITS Saints, while the Muddies hang on to fourth spot, equal on points with the Rocky Kangaroos.
Clinton Evans was the difference in the game and the forward booted six goals to lead Panthers to a 17.12 (114) to 11.17 (83) victory.
The home side started fast to have Gladstone Mudcrabs on the back foot and they faced a 20-point deficit at the first change.
Muddies played the best football during the third term where they booted 5.3 to 3.1 to be just three points down at three-quarter-time.
However that momentum was short-lived as the home team regained its mojo to kick six goals in the final 30 minutes.
Mudcrabs' Stephen Eilola was kept to just two goals, but coach Mark Jensen said the delivery to him was not the best.
"We didn't play well enough in the finish, but we played some good footy in patches,” Jensen said.
Having several players to play both reserves and A-grade did not help.
"We had seven who had to double up and I guess it was also fatigue in the end, but you don't win too many games of footy if you kick 17 points,” Jensen said.
"Steve (Eilola) had plenty of opportunities but we bombed it in too much and to a two-on-one situation.”
The coach praised Peter Hill (two goals), Emrys Walker and Alex Smith.
Gladstone Mudcrabs have a crucial away game this Saturday against Rockhampton Kangaroos.