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From the vault: Cowboys first ever home win

History was made on Saturday, July 8 as the North Queensland Cowboys beat Western Suburbs 31-12 to clinch their first home victory.

The emotion boiled over in Stockland Stadium as 18,197 loyal supporters witnessed what they had been waiting since March to see.

While the reserves clocked up their fifth win, the night will be remembered as first grade’s inaugural home victory.

>>> Part 1: From the vault: Cane farming Cowboy
>>> Part 2: From the vault: Working Cowboys
>>> Part 3: From the vault: Looming Loomans
>>> Part 4: From the vault: Soaking up the sun
>>> Part 5: From the vault: Driving home their support

The players always knew their first win at Stockland Stadium would be a special night.

The Cowboys had come so close on occasions, but the two points had eluded them.

The youthful enthusiasm of players such as Faron Anderson, Reggie Cressbrook and Michael Hogue combined with more experienced campaigners in an inspiring display when very few players didn’t excel in their roles.

“It is great to see the players start releasing their potential and the quality of some of the kids playing was outstanding,” Bell said.

According to the players, their talk on the paddock was a major factor in the win. 

Their talk was joined by the chants of the crowd as they sensed victory part way through the second half. 

"We played more as a team, talked more as a team and in our minds were going to win no matter what," centre Adrian Vowles said. 

The Cowboys led 12-6 at the break before an Ian Dunemann try and a Johnathan Davies field goal early in the second half seemed to lift the players. 

Proof to this was a Damian Gibson try less than five minutes later which, in the minds of many, sealed the game for the Cowboys.

It was left to the man of the match, John Skardon, to put the final nail in the Magpies' coffin. 

After taking over the hooking role the week before, Skardon produced inspiring runs from dummy half and led the way for the Cowboys. 

According to Vowles the win lifted the weight off the shoulders of the players. 

"The expectations from a lot of people and the fact we hadn't won a game since the end of April placed a certain amount of pressure on the players," he said. 

"The win was very important for us as players because it gave us a boost and the determination to improve our position on the ladder as the season progressed. 

"The fact nearly everyone in the crowd was cheering for us and wanted us to win just as much as we did was very special.

"We wanted to win for our supporters just as much as we wanted to win for ourselves.

"The atmosphere after we won was unbelievable and will stay in the player's minds for the rest of their lives.

North Queensland Cowboys

1.           Damian Gibson 

2.           Faron Anderson

3.           Adrian Vowles  

4.           David Bouveng 

5.           Justin Loomans 

6.           Jonathan Davies             

7.           Jason Martin (c)

8.           Andrew Whittington     

9.           John Skardon    

10.        Craig Teitzel      

11.        Paul Galea         

12.        Wayne Sing       

13.        George Bartlett

14.        Leigh Groves     

15.        Ian Dunemann  

16.        Michael Hogue 

17.        Reggie Cressbrook                        

Coach                Grant Bell                      

Western Suburbs Magpies

1.           Andrew Leeds

2.           David Myers

3.           Paul Bell

4.           Ken McGuinness

5.           Darren Willis

6.           Brandon Costin

7.           Steve Georgallis

8.           Brent Stuart

9.           Ciriaco Mescia

10.        Glenn Grief

11.        Jim Serdaris

12.        Mark Horo

13.        Paul Langmack (c

14.        Bill Dunn

15.        Jason Alchin

16.        Kyle White

Coach   Tom Raudonikis

This article first appeared in issue 3 of the 1995 'Cowboys Round Up' magazine.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.