NUMEROUS lead changes, desperate defence and a great conclusion - Saturday's ANZAC memorial clash between Bathurst Panthers and St Pat's had it all.
And if you were a St Pat's supporter then it also had the outcome you were hoping for.
The Saints came away 32-30 victors in an instant classic at Carrington Park, finding the winning try and conversion through hooker Hayden Bolam with five minutes remaining.
Pat's gave up 22 unanswered points across the middle of the match as the Panthers threatened to win their sixth successive ANZAC clash.
However, the Saints' forwards laid the groundwork for a special second half resurgence, led by a stirring effort from captain Luke Single.
Saints coach Zac Merritt, who wasn't able to play in the contest due to injury, was full of praise for the way his side didn't surrender after watching their 16-4 advantage evaporate into a 26-16 deficit.
"It was a similar situation to last week, where we let them back into it with errors and low percentage plays, but what a gritty game. There were still errors, because it was slippery out there, but I have to give our boys a lot of credit after being down 10 points," he said.
"I still encouraged them to move the ball around but the game was really won through the middle. I thought Luke Single, Aaron Mahwinney and Nik Booth all had massive performances.
"On the back of that in the later stages Jackson Brien and Blake Fitzpatrick stepped up to take the game by the horns. That's what you want to see in a gritty game like that one."
Saints got off to a dream start when Caleb Wardman scored on the back of a Pat's 40/20 but the Panthers responded quickly through Desi Doolan to make it 4-all.
Momentum swung the Saints' way when Single and Mawhinney both scored from close range to give the Saints their 16-4 advantage.
But for the next 20 minutes the Panthers were able to string together some lethal passages of attack.
Charlie Hutchings scored down the right wing and Noah Griffiths spun his way out of a tackle to score the try that would lead to a tied game at half-time.
Within the first six minutes of the new half Panthers' Jed Betts and Jeremy Gordon had both scored to open up a 26-16.
Saints didn't buckle under the pressure of an opponent getting away from them - unlike the previous week's loss to Dubbo CYMS - and mounted a comeback.
Lee McClintock dived for a successful try in the right corner before Mitch Squire had the Saints supporters on their feet as he beat three Panthers defenders in a 50 metre solo effort to make it 26-all.
Panthers went over with 14 minutes to go when Gordon dived on a grubber but the missed conversion left the margin at four points.
The Saints found their way upfield with five minutes to go and found their winning moment when a dummy from Bolam gave him the space he needed to score.
ST PAT'S 32 (Caleb Wardman, Luke Single, Aaron Mawhinney, Lee McClintock, Mitch Squire, Hayden Bolam tries; Bolam 4 conversions) defeated BATHURST PANTHERS 30 (Jeremy Gordon 2, Desi Doolan, Charlie Hutchings, Noah Griffiths, Jed Betts; Josh Rivett 3 conversions)
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