A Chad Porter field goal seconds before the full-time siren has handed Parkes a remarkable, come-from-behind 25-24 win over Wellington.
The Spacies' first home game of the 2019 Group 11 season at Pioneer Oval, the home side had to recover from a wobbly first period and a 24-6 deficit to storm home and record a confidence-boosting victory in round two.
Parkes thumped Westside 86-0 in round one but it wasn't a true reflection of the Spacemen side Brent Wood is moulding, one that's tough, disciplined and desperate in defence.
Porter's Spacemen called on all three traits in a terrific second half, scoring through a barnstorming Brandon Tago, rookie winger David White and then Porter to climb back from the brink to trail by just four points with 12 minutes remaining.
Then with four minutes to go, Jordan Pope barged his way over former Spacemen coach Dennis Moran, now playing in Cowboys colours, to level up the scores at 24-all.
Porter's conversion attempt from out wide missed the mark, but the new Parkes skipper didn't have to wait long to rectify the miss.
With Parkes earning a scrum inside Wellington's 20-metre zone, and with 20 seconds left on the clock, Porter took the ball two passes wide of the scrum and calmly potted the match-winner, sending the Spacemen into raptures and inflicting the Cowboys with their second loss from as many starts to kick-off 2019.
"There was only 15 seconds left so I had to go the field goal," Porter said looking at his options with the game on the line.
We defended our arses off in that first half.Parkes skipper Chad Porter.
"I haven't been practicing, and as you could see from my goal-kicking I haven't done much at all. I was lucky to get the field goal over."
The one-point dagger capped what was a tremendously dogged second-half from the fit Spacemen.
Porter said Wood has been hard on the players during the pre-season but, as Sunday's win showed, those tough summer sessions pay dividends in the cooler months.
"We knew we could come back. We just had to stick it to them.," porter added.
"We defended our arses off in that first half.
"It's something Mags has been getting into us about, we've just been leaking too many points. The last few years we've been slack in that area.
"We've been building."
So too is Wellington, their coach Justin Toomey-White is adamant about that, but with so many new faces in their 2019 squad the Cowboys are taking more time than some thought.
Early on, though, Wellington looked spectacular.
We're still learning, still getting to know each others' games.Cowboys co-coach Justin Toomey-White.
After Joey Dwyer scored for Parkes to level it up at 6-all in the 12th minute, it was virtually all Wellington.
Tago spent 10 minutes in the sin bin and during that time the visitors crossed through impressive recruits Tristan Lumley and then Josh Griffiths to skip ahead by 12 points while the hosts were down a man.
When Tago returned the arm wrestle ensued, but right on half-time Griffiths produced what had the potential to be a killer blow.
The classy fullback skipped across field on his own 10-metre line and found space, raced down field and then produced a lovely, left-foot kick in field for a roaring Aidan Ryan, who scored right on the siren to kick Wellington out to a 24-6 lead at the break.
Wellington didn't score another point though - the tough Spacemen didn't allow them to.
"We had a good 40 minutes but as you know it's an 80 minute game. It's gutting for the boys but we'll learn from this," Toomey-White said.
"We're still learning, still getting to know each others' games.
"Their ruck speed was way too fast and we were on the back foot for the majority of that second half.
"It's round two, we'll get together and get back to it next week."
- PARKES SPACEMEN 25 (Chad Porter, David White, Jordan Pope, Joey Dwyer, Brandon Tago tries; Chad Porter 2 goals; Chad Porter field goal) def WELLINGTON COWBOYS 24 (Tristan Lumley, Josh Griffiths, CJ Ralph, Aidan Ryan tries; Mason Williams four goals)
DO YOU WANT MORE SPORT?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...