MACQUARIE Scorpions have kept alive their flickering hopes of playing semi-final football with a 13-12 win over Lakes United in the Newcastle Rugby League match at Toronto on Saturday.
A 79th-minute field-goal by fullback Matt Simon sealed the two hard-earned competition points for Macquarie.
The win moved Macquarie off the bottom of the eight-team ladder to eight points.
It means Macquarie is now just three points shy of fourth placed Cessnock with four rounds to play.
Lakes had a chance to break the 12-all deadlock with four minutes to play, but their shot at field goal was wide and provided Macquarie with a seven-tackle set from the 20-metre tap.
A penalty for a high tackle early in the set gave Macquarie an easy passage into field-goal territory.
Simon twice positioned himself to take a shot, but on each occasion the chasing defenders prevented him from putting boot to ball.
After forcing a line drop-out from Lakes, Macquarie got the job done when Simon found the time and space to set himself to slot the match-winner over.
Macquarie will take on Maitland at Maitland Showground this Saturday.
Ladder: Wests 20; Souths 14; Maitland 12; Cessnock 11; Kurri 10; Macquarie, Lakes 8; Central 7.