Leeton went within minutes of keeping their title defence alive.
The Phantoms hit the front late against Ag College on Saturday, but there was still enough time for Mike van Diggelen to score the match winner.
After going through undefeated last season, Leeton had to deal with a number of ups and downs this season culminating in the 24-20 loss at Jarrah Oval.
It’s not the first time the Phantoms have lost a preliminary final at Tumut,
They were knocked out at the same stage two years ago however coach Matt Allen was impressed with the performance his side put in.
“It was a great game of footy,” Allen said.
“Our guys really stuck in hard on defence, but to the Ag boys credit they attacked, they retained the ball which was the key to the game in the end.”
Allen thought Ag College capitalised on the little moments to finally gain the upper hand and go through to the grand final.
Stepping into a bigger coaching role this season, Allen is pleased with how they dealt with the pressure of being the premiers.
“I’m very proud of the guys this year,” he said.
“We’ve had quite a few moments this year that has been a bit tumultuous, things weren’t not really proud of but we have worked through.
“As a club we have held our heads high and are very proud of who we are and what we do.
“Being defending premiers was something we were very happy with, and we tried to go the whole distance again this year, but we didn’t make it and that is the way it is.”