beaten at the post

beaten at the post

To be defeated or overcome by someone by a very narrow margin or at the final, crucial moment, especially in a race, competition, or athletic event. Primarily heard in UK, Australia, Ireland. The favoured runner held the lead for the majority of the race, but he was beaten at the post by a relatively unknown competitor in the final 100 metres. It appears the current MP has been beaten at the post, being narrowly defeated by the youngest person to ever serve in parliament.
See also: beaten, post

beaten (or pipped) at the post

defeated at the last moment.
The post alluded to here is the marker at the end of a race.
See also: beaten, post
References in periodicals archive ?
Parliament vesting William Madocks Porthmadog''s Cob However, he was beaten at the post by Thomas Telford's eventual route through the port of Holyhead.
A couple of years ago Mark led for most of the season until being beaten at the post.
DIC have been trying to buy the club for 18 months, having been beaten at the post by Hicks and Gillett just over a year ago.