A magnificent 42 metre penalty goal by Warriors hooker Phil Badior with one minute left on the clock was enough to snatch an 18-all draw with Stroud and advance Dungog into next week’s semi- finals at Raymond Terrace.
The Raiders surged to an early lead and were still eight points up inside the last 10 minutes but Dungog refused to surrender and were rewarded for their efforts to finish fifth on the competition ladder and secure a spot in the semi-finals.
Raiders hooker Clint Osborne crossed the line twice inside the first six minutes for two converted tries and a 12-nil lead.
The Warriors responded scoreboard when James Foot crossed for a try, the fourth time this year he has been the Warriors first try scorer at home,
Both teams were ripping into each other in defence and Dungog were having trouble cracking the Raiders’ line and it was the Raiders who looked like they had extended their lead at the 25 minute only for the try to be disallowed .
Dungog narrowed the deficit to two when Foot went over for his second try out wide and with Badior converting the Warriors were firmly back in the game before the break.
Dungog came out for the second half fired up but it was the Raiders who enjoyed the early running and they extended their lead to eight with a converted try at the 49 minute mark.
As the game entered the last 10 minutes Stroud were looking good for a semi-final spot, but suddenly the passes started to stick for the Warriors and clever play from Daniel Bates saw him cross for a converted with eight minutes to go.
A great kick chase resulted in a line drop out for the Raiders and Dungog appeared to have hit the lead when James Foot went over only for the touchie to rule a Dungog player had gone into touch in the lead up.
With play in the middle of the field Dungog were running out of time but a relieving penalty gave them enough time for one last crack from about 40 metres out.
Knowing a draw was enough to get them in the semis Dungog pointed to the posts and cometh the hour cometh the man. Phil Badior calmly stepped up and with the Warriors semi-final chances hanging on his kick sent the ball straight between the posts.
This Saturday is the Warriors first semi-inal appearance since 2013 and hopefully there will be plenty of support on show when they take on Abermain at Raymond Terrace with kick off at 10am.
Finally good luck to all the Junior Warriors teams left in the semi final hunt and commiserations to the teams that have been knocked out
Dungog 18 J Foot 2, D Bates 1 .P Badior 2 goals, 1 penalty goal
Stroud 18 3 tries, 3 goals
RSL Best Forward Cody Warwick, RSL Best Back James Foot, Players Player Brad Smith, Rays Reserve. Terry Drinkwater.