A late try to Cowra Magpies league tag player Courtney Gambrill set the stage for a thrilling finish to the side's game against Blayney Bears at Sid Kallas Oval on Sunday.
Trailing 16-8 with just minutes left on the clock Gambrill crossed, within kicking range, to give the Magpies a chance at victory.
Even with the conversion attempt by Magpies captain coach Stacey Ashe being waved away the Magpies were finishing strongly, down 16-12.
Their chances were extinguished by a penalty goal in the dying seconds which allowed Blayney's Sarah Coleman to stretch the final score to 18-12 in favour of Blayney.
Blayney opened the scoring with a try in the seventh minute with a converted try.
The Bears extended their lead with a second six pointer in the 24th minute before Cowra finally registered their only points of the half through a try to Ellie Blackadder in the final seconds of the first period.
The conversion attempt by Ashe, from a difficult angle, was waved away but the Magpies were finally rewarded for their promising attack.
Cowra dominated for long periods of the second half and came close a number of times, denied on one occasion after a well placed kick by half Chelsea Apps.
The Cowra pressure was finally rewarded when Blackadder scored her second to bring Cowra right back into the match 12-8.
Disappointingly for the Magpies they to failed to complete their first set after points, allowing the Bears to hit straight back through a try to Abby Stammers which stretched her side's lead to 16-8.
"We were just a bit flat in the first half," Ashe said after the game.
"If we came out in the first half like we did in the second half we would have had them.
"Five minutes more, (in the game) I reckon we would've had them too," she said.
A number of the Magpies stood out despite the loss, continually causing headaches for the Bears defence.
"Ellie Blackadder, she went from hooker and stepped into the halves for me today and she went really well and put Courtney (Gambrill) over for a try," Ashe said.
"Emily Browne went well at fullback, she's been really good this year, both her running and her tagging.
"And Shalee Dolbell's defence was good and Chelsea (Apps), she's always good in the middle."
The Magpies were also strengthened by the addition of several new faces, notably Sarah Day and Amy Lawson.
"We stuck in there today, they could've beaten us by a lot more but our attitude in the second half was a lot better than the first half," Ashe said.