In a season of near misses the NYC Sharks have finally had a result go their way, with the Cowboys missing a long-range conversion attempt to tie the scores after the full time siren.
Despite giving up the try in the final minute it was a night where the Sharks held the upper hand for most of the night in coming away well-deserved 18-16 winners.
After the Cowboys hit the lead early the Sharks responded and dominated the rest of the first half.
First it was centre Jamayne Issako crossing, then converting his own try, before Josh Addo-Carr put the visiting Sharks up 10-6 when he pounced on a loose ball after a Cronulla bomb.
The Sharks would add to their advantage before the break, Finlay Dibley exploiting some weak North Queensland defense to send his team to half time ahead by 14-6.
The Cowboys came out for the second 40 with plenty of intent however some committed Sharks defense denied them on two occasions, the first time in holding their opponents up over the line, the second when a desperate tackle resulted in a North Queensland double-movement.
Buoyed by their work at the defensive end the Sharks went on the attack and were immediately rewarded, Dibley scoring his second four-pointer of the evening to put the Sharks out to a handy 18-6 lead.
The home team continued to battle away with a converted Yamba Bowen try making it 18-12 and despite holding a 4-2 try scoring edge it was anyone’s game.
Fielding a young and inexperienced side after nine NYC squad members had been called into the NSW Cup team, not to mention both the injured Fa’amanu Brown and Valentine Holmes missing on NRL duty, the Sharks dug in a refused to yield.
They attempted to ice the game with a field goal as time was ticking down by when it drifted wide the Cowboys sensed one last opportunity.
A 40-20 put them on the attack and then in a frantic attacking play the North Queenslanders managed to get the ball down wide out as the siren sounded in the background.
To the good fortune of the Sharks the pressure proved too much for the young goal-kicker and the Cronulla boys had hung on for an 18-16 victory.
The win sees the Sharks move to 18 competition points, jumping past the Gold Coast and into a tie with the Raiders with one game of the 2014 season remaining.
Finlay Dibley 2, Jamayne Isaako, Josh Addo-Carr tries, Jamayne Isaako goal