A field goal snapped by Gilgandra's half back Luke Ritchie as the half time hooter sounded proved to be the difference between the Panthers and the visiting Dunedoo Swans in what proved to be a gripping contest that could have been won by either side.
With both sides scoring four tries and three goals apiece, it was Ritchie's quick thinking when little else was on as the first 40 minutes came to an end that proved to be pivotal in the final wash up, the 23-22 win by the Panthers keeping them in the hunt for the minor premiership, whilst any hope of the Swans securing the number one position on the ladder was dashed by the result.
The Panthers took a 13-6 lead to the sheds at the break after they had got away to lead 10-0 after just 14 minutes.
The second half gave supporters of both sides much to contend with in terms of excitement, with the Swans putting it to the home side, with the score board reading 13-12 after a converted Tom Yeo try six minutes after the resumption of play.
The Panthers then responded by way of second rower, Jordan Reynolds touching down some four minutes later to take the Panthers out to 17-12.
Any thoughts that the Swans were not going to give it a red hot crack were soon dispelled when Scott Beshman charged over mid way through the second stanza and with the conversion successful, the green and whites had hit the lead 18-17.
Not long after a towering Gilgandra bomb was allowed to bounce by Dunedoo, that bounce being fortuitous for the Panthers and the ball bobbled over try line to be grounded by a flying Josh Nixon, that try being converted and with 15 minutes remaining the Panthers were back in front 23-18.
Again the Swans responded and in the 33rd minute, their winger Jarrod Toole finished off a sweeping back line movement to score out wide, but to the dismay of the Dunedoo supporters, the conversion was waved away but the match was well and truly still in the balance with just the one point separating the two teams.
It was game on for the remaining tense minutes with play going from one end to another, the final twist in the contest being a penalty awarded to the Swans as the full-time siren sounded after they had been attacking the Gilgandra line.
It was bated breath from everyone in attendance as the difficult shot for goal was lined up wide out but in the end it was to be the Panthers and their supporters who were celebrating as the attempt at goal went wide of the mark.
Whilst the winning margin was as small as you can get, the two competition points proved to be invaluable to the Panthers and they remain in contention for minor premiership honours, sharing the lead with the Cobar Roosters.
All first grade games this weekend in the last competition round will have a big bearing on the final composition of the top four with Dunedoo hosting Cobar and the Bears at home to the Binnaway Bombshells, whilst Gilgandra will bank two competition points due to the bye.
If the Swans can roll the Roosters, Gilgandra will be minor premiers, if the Roosters win they will claim that honour, whilst the game at Coonamble will decide who finishes fourth.