IT literally came down to the final second, but Thirroul notched a gutsy 14-10 win over Corrimal in a heart-stopper at Ziems Park on Saturday.
The Butchers looked home when they had possession with eight seconds left before Cougars prop Josh Corey produced a miraculous one-on-one strip and retook possession.
Fellow bookend Paul Ben went close to a match-levelling barge-over try on the buzzer but was denied by some desperate Butchers defence. It sealed a deserved victory for the Butchers, who trailed 10-0 before running in three unanswered tries in the third quarter.
They looked set to run away with it until the Cougars stormed back into it down the stretch, though their push fell short.
Thirroul coach Aaron Beath was full of praise for his young side's character in eking out the victory that leaves them 2-0 and staking a premiership claim.
"I coached reserve grade last year so I expect the unexpected," Beath said of the finish.
"We only had three middles the whole game so those three were outstanding. We spoke about laying foundation and we didn't do that until the second half when we started playing some footy and really marching up the field through that middle third.
"We've got a bunch of kids, we haven't got a lot of seasoned footballers, but they're developing and maturing all the time. It just showed in that back end there, there were some smart heads on a few of them and they closed it out pretty well.
"There's definite first-graders amongst them, they just need an opportunity which they're getting. We spoke about it before we kicked off, we don't care what sort of competition we're in, we're in it to win it, so we'll put our best foot forward each week."
The Cougars got the best of the early arm wrestle when James Schiller crossed for the opening try on the back of a break from Folau Lavemai.
The home side led 10-0 when Tonga Tongotongo barged across out wide eight minutes later before halftime halted their momentum.
It proved a valuable reset for the Butchers, who crossed through Jye Richards just three minutes into the second half and levelled the score through Chris Slater-Raptis five minutes later.
Slater-Raptis grabbed his second with 14 minutes left for his side's first lead of the match. It was largely one-way traffic for the Cougars from there, but they couldn't find an equaliser even after Corey's miraculous late strip.
"Looking on from the sideline, Josh is known for the strip, and when I saw there was 20 seconds left on the clock I assumed that's what he'd go for and he did," Cougars coach Sean Maloney said.
"I just think we just played dumb football there, the next two plays were straight to forwards when we should have given ourselves better options for those dying seconds.
"I think the guys have got to get consistency. I think playing well against Wests and coming away with a 29-0 second half went to our heads a bit.
"I thought the first 40 minutes were good. They're a young side, Beathy's got them playing well, but they're a confidence team. When we started making those mistakes early in sets they started getting some confidence and got those 14 points so good call to them, they deserved the win today."