The Maitland Pickers defeated the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs 19-16 in a highly entertaining and emotion charged game at Maitland Sportsground on Saturday.
The Pickers had seemingly put the game beyond the Bulldogs' grasp when halfback Frazer Price kicked a field goal to extend Maitland's lead to 19-12 with one minute left on the clock.
But in their typical never say die approach, the Bulldogs snatched a late try after halfback Jarom Haines regained a grubber kick from the restart and winger Ben Edwards crossed out wide with 30 seconds left on the clock.
The siren went soon after the Pickers kicked long into the Dogs' half.
The soul-stirring win in what was probably the Pickers' most intense game of the season featured plenty of fine performances on both sides.
Pickers' young guns Callan Burgess, in his first starting game in the back-row, and winger Reeve Howard were outstanding for Maitland.
Maitland fullback Greg Morris continued his brilliant form, centre Marco Delapena was powerful and halves Geordie Connelly and Price were super busy.
Haines was the Bulldogs best and looked threatening every time he had the ball in his hand.
The win lifts the Pickers to third on the table on 12 points, with three games today featuring a top of the table battle between Western Suburbs and South Newcastle, Cessnock at home to Central Newcastle and Macquarie and Lakes United.
The Goannas can leapfrog the Pickers into third spot with a win.