The Cowboys leading the game for 75 minutes were mowed down by a determined Bulldogs side who scored a remarkable three tries in four minutes at the death.
The Cowboys jumped out to a quick lead to give themselves the authority heading into half-time, before the Bulldogs led by hooker Michael Ennis staged a remarkable comeback.
In what was his 149th game, retiring Cowboys back Ty Williams scored two tries in the Cowboys unfortunate loss.
The Cowboys made history in this game however, with Under 20’s and Kirwan State High School student Jason Taumalolo making his debut at the age of 17 years and 82 days, which broke the previous Cowboys record held by former Cowboys great Josh Hannay.
He was a very late replacement for Cowboys utility Clint Amos, who rushed home to be with his wife Hannah who was having a baby.
Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore acknowledges that his team did a Houdini act coming down from quite a few points down to win the dying seconds.
“We didn’t play good footy tonight, neither team (did), with not a lot to play for at the end of the season, it led to that sort of game, didn’t it?
“The bottom line was it wasn’t a great game of footy and I think we’re obviously happy to get away with it at the back end”, says Moore
Cowboys coach Neil Henry found the result hard to fathom and that sick feeling in his stomach at the games conclusion.
“It certainly does (hurt),” he said.
“We’ve been in this situation a couple of times this year.
“We had some good field position in the second half and we didn’t capitalise, a couple of times we got excited and pushed a couple of passes.
In a sour note for the Cowboys, Willie Tonga is out for the season with a hamstring injury.