North Queensland Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston celebrated his 250th match for the club in grand style after nailing a 75th minute field goal which gave the Cowboys a 19-18 victory against the Brisbane Broncos in Townsville on Friday night.
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The North Queensland Cowboys got their revenge against the Brisbane Broncos with a 19-18 win in front of a packed capacity crowd at 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville on Friday night.

It was the Cowboys who came out on top this time after their heartbreaking 21-20 loss to Brisbane back in Round 4 off a miraculous Anthony Milford kick.

Each of the last three contests between the two clubs has been decided by a single point which illustrates how evenly matched they are.

It was the sweetest of victories for Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston who celebrated his 250thmatch for the club by puttinghis game clinching field goal attempt throughthe uprights in the 75thminute.

But it was an excellent allround effort by the squad over the final 20 minutes that got the northerners in position for the two competition points after being put on the ropes by the Broncs for the majority of the game.

The Cowboys got off to a confident start with Matt Scott scoring off a Jake Granville assist in the 12thminute.

The home side dominated possession up untilthe 25 minute mark but the Broncos sturdy defence held up well, it was at that pointthemomentum of the match shifted with Matt Gillett brushingoff four Cowboys defenders on his way to the goal line.

A penalty goal to Jordan Kahu in the 29th minuteevenedthe score at six, which was followed byan easy second try for Gillettto give the Broncos a 12-6 lead after the Kahu conversion.

The Cowboys playedtheir worst football since their error filled performance against the Eelsin Round 2 -which resulted in a loss – from that first Gillett score up untilmidway through the second half, and the defending premiers looked set for a humbling loss.

The feeling of impending defeat only grew stronger when Kahu scored early in the second half to put the visitors ahead 16-6 which quickly became a two convertedtry margin after he successfully struck another penalty attempt.

It was when the game clock hit 58 minutes that the Cardiac Cowboys reemerged and even though he hadn’t had his best game of the yearLachlan Coote displayed some magic when it mattered after recovering his own Broncos deflected grubber to get the margin back to six after Thurston’s conversion.

Thurston then set up a rampaging Justin O’Neill for a 64th minute try with the captain’s successful conversion tying the match up.

Michael Morgan nearly sealed the game with a piece of individualbrilliance in the 70thminute but unfortunately was a finger short of grounding the ball, but Thurston’s ice cold connection soon aftersecured the win.

After playing the hero for Brisbane last time around Milford cost the Broncos a chance to go ahead when the scores were deadlocked at 18 whenhe coughedup the ball while lining up for his attempt at goal.

In the dying stages of the match he had a chance to force the game into golden pointbut his attempt saw him shank the Steeden wide right after having all the time in the world to get his eye in.

Ben Hunt also had a chance to even the scores and only narrowly missed his booming longrange shot.

The Cowboys will have to dig deep to get an away win against the Dragons on Saturday with severalplayers away trainingin preparation forOrigin Game 1.

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