If any Penrith Panthers fans decided to leave the game early, they were punished for their lack of commitment when Wellington Cowboys product Tyrone Peachey scored a late, match-winning try.
Played under the lights of Carrington Park on Saturday evening, Canberra Raiders led by eight points going into the final three minutes.
While the rugby league was not outstanding, the Bathurst public were treated to an incredible final 180 seconds.
Corey Harawira-Naera raced in for the what seemed like a consolation try, with just over a minute left on the clock.
However with only six tackles left in the game, Panthers worked their way up the field and on the fourth tackle Matt Moylan found Peachey.
Panthers coach Anthony Griffin said he felt like the win was always possible, even with three minutes remaining.
“I actually said in the box, ‘If we can get a score and stop the clock, and one set’,” he said.
“I felt like we had points in us, going through the middle, but we just kept getting it wrong for long periods.
“It was a really tough performance. We didn’t play very well, but we just kept coming and I thought it was a tough, reliance performance.
“The players never lost any belief.”
The result means Panthers have won four games in a row, after losing five straight.
Griffin said the winning streak is a “great achievement for the boys”.
“We’ve got the bye now, so they can relax and enjoy tonight,” he said.
Moylan, who set up two tries in the final three minutes, was always confident his teammates could produce a result, even after trailing by eight points.
“We just needed to get a try and give ourselves an opportunity. I think we just needed to play a bit more simple and direct,” he said.
“We weren’t completing our sets and putting ourselves in a position midway through that second-half.
“I think we finished the game pretty well, if what we wanted to do but it took a long time to do it.”
Jordan Rapana opened the scoring for Raiders in the fourth minutes, before Moylan responded eight minutes later.
Both teams were reduced to 12 men for the opening 10 minutes of the second term, after Harawira-Naera and Raiders’ Joseph Tapine were sin binned for an altercation just on half-time.
Panthers’ 19-year-old halfback Nathan Cleary scored within the open set of the second-half to give the Mountain Men a 10-4 lead.
Nick Cotric responded minutes and Jarrod Croker’s conversion got the Raiders within two points.
Joey Leilua went storm over just before the hour mark, to celebrate his new contract with the Raiders and Cotric scored his double only minutes later.
It all looked doom and gloom for the Panthers until a magical final three minutes.
Panthers will now travel back to Western Sydney, before returning to action on June 24 to play the North Queensland Cowboys.