It was scrappy.
It was tough.
It was a nail biter.
It was finals football.
Just when it looked like it was over for the Lithgow Workies, they dug deep and produced the goods to secure a 24-22 win at Tony Luchetti Oval against the Cowra Magpies, ending the visitors' season.
Lithgow Workies coach Graeme Osborne said the match was "heart stopping [but] very pleasing."
Cowra started the match strongly, with Joey Bugg racing through defenders to score the first try of the match. Four minutes later Lee McClintock crossed the line for the Magpies.
With a very vocal sideline, things started to get heated on the field as well as off with players from both sides getting warnings about their behaviour.
With 20 minutes to go in the first half, Cowra wasn't slowing down as Blake Tidswell crossed the line for his first try of the match. Caley Mok was able to convert the kick to give Cowra a 14-0 lead.
Cowra Magpies captain Tidswell said that in the first half of the match his side was "red hot", not giving Lithgow much ball.
At this stage of the match, the Lithgow side was looking sloppy, with many dropped balls and missed catches.
Continuing their scoring streak, Will Ingram then crossed the line, giving the Magpies even more points.
"I think we just came out of the shed a little slow in that first half, we knew they [Cowra] would come out all guns blazing, they had the bye last week, so we knew they would come out pretty quick, and we just came out too slow," Osborne said.
With six minutes left in the first half, Nick Miller crossed the line next to the post to finally put the Workies on the board.
Fullback Josh Howarth was able to convert the try, taking Lithgow to 18-6 at half time.
Both sides came out strong in the opening of the second half, and within the first two minutes Cowra received a penalty for using a shoulder charge.
The Wolves used this to their advantage and Daniel Bain used his power to cross the line. Howarth once again converted the kick.
Lithgow then let it slide once again, conceding two penalties to Cowra, who opted to take two free kicks, scoring them an extra four points.
"We were pretty lucky there, a couple of penalties and repeat sets and things like that, but in the second half we did sort of go away from what we were doing," Tidswell said.
Sitting at 22-12, Lithgow then saw second rower Corey Willmott go down after a hard tackle and limp off the field.
"I thought they all played pretty well, Nick Miller off the bench had a big game, Corey Willmott until he got carried off with his ankle, Johnny's [Jonathon Van Veen] consistent all the time, Kyle Willmott off the bench," Osborne said.
"I thought our bench really helped us out tremendously today."
Willmott has been taken to hospital, with what looks like a sprained ankle.
"He is very unlucky, he won't play next week, I don't think," Osborne said.
But Kyle Willmott stepped up and was able to get a try next to the post with 15 minutes remaining. With another successful conversion by Howarth, Lithgow now trailed by four.
Howarth who was having a cracking game, stepped up to the challenge and with three minutes on the clock, put in a try of his own in, before successfully converting it, to take the lead.
"We knew the longer the game went that we could probably get over the top of them, but not that close," Osborne said.
Tidswell said that their fifth tackle options let them down.
"Obviously we didn't get the kick away there a couple of times which probably let us down and instead of defending in their [Lithgow's] 30 we were defending at the half way line," he said.
"But that's finals footy and anything can happen and they were the better team on the day."
Lithgow will now play Mudgee at Mudgee next week, with the date yet to be finalised.
"I think we were unlucky the other week against Mudgee so if we take what we finished off with today and play it up in Mudgee next week, then I am pretty confident," Osborne said.
- LITHGOW WORKIES 24 (Josh Howarth, Daniel Bain, Nick Miller and Kyle Willmott tries; Josh Howarth 4 goals) defeated COWRA MAGPIES 22 (Will Ingram, Blake Tidswell, Joseph Bugg and Lee McClintock; Caley Mok 3 goals)