The Panthers had a mountain of possession early on and raced away to a 14-nil lead after 17 minutes following tries to Luke Priddis and Joe Galuvao.
The Cowboys managed to get on the scoreboard late in the first half with Jason Barsley scoring a try in his first match in the NRL. At half time Penrith held a 14-6 lead.
The second half saw a fired-up Cowboys side come back strongly and following a try to Ty Williams the scores were suddenly locked up at 14-all.
The Cowboys scored again through David Myles and with 20 minutes to go, the North Queenslanders looked likely to go on with it.
But the Panthers struck back following a try to Luke Lewis and with 10 minutes to go, the visitors were trailing by just four points.
In the dying seconds, Luke Rooney scored in the corner for the Panthers and for the second time in the match, the scores were all locked up. Preston Campbell was unsuccessful with a difficult conversion attempt and the scores remained at 24-all.
The match was forced into extra time for the second time since the new 'golden point' rule came into play this season.
In a game of fluctuating fortunes, the Panthers seem to have the better run of field possession in opening minutes extra time with Craig Gower and then Preston Campbell having turns at field goal attempts.
But with less than a minute to go, Joe Galuvao saw a his chance and crashed over to secure victory for the Panthers.
Saturday 7 June 2003 Dairy Farmers Stadium Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 17,102
COWBOYS 24 Tries: Barsley, Williams, Myles, Hannay Goals: Hannay 4/5 PANTHERS 28 Tries: Galuvao 2, Priddis, Lewis, Rooney Goals: Campbell 4/5
League Unlimited Player of the year points: 3 - L Priddis (Panthers) 2 - L McWilliams (Cowboys) 1 - J Galuvao (Panthers)
By the clock: Kickoff!
5 min: PENALTY GOAL - Panthers. Preston Campbell posts the first points. Panthers 2-0
8 min: TRY - Panthers. Luke Priddis scores after a break down the left flank. Conversion Campbell successful. Panthers 8-0
17 min: TRY - Panthers. Joe Galuvao scores. Cowboys not completing their sets and Penrith getting plenty of the ball. Panthers finding room down the left side again. Conversion successful. Panthers 14-0
37 min: TRY - Cowboys. Jason Barsley scores in his first NRL match. Conversion Josh Hannay successful. Panthers 14-6
48 min: PENALTY GOAL - Cowboys. Hannay from right in front. Panthers 14-8
52 min: TRY - Cowboys. Ty Williams scores and Hannay converts to lock it up. 14-all
59 min: TRY - Cowboys. David Myles scores. Hannay converts. Cowboys hit the front and look ready to go on with it. Cowboys 20-14
65 min: TRY - Cowboys. Josh Hannay scores. Unable to convert. Cowboys 24-14
69 min: TRY - Panthers. Luke Lewis scores following video ref scrutiny. Conversion Campbell and we're in for a big finish! Cowboys 24-20
79 min: Luke Rooney for Panthers appears to have scored in the corner... waiting for video ref report....
79 min: TRY - Panthers. Try has been awarded to Luke Rooney. Kick to come from the sideline. 24-all !!!
80 min: Conversion attempt from Preston Campbell is unsuccessful. 24-all
FULL TIME... EXTRA TIME: GOLDEN POINT APPLIES
81 min: Cowboys kick off. Panthers get first chance with the ball.
83 min: Craig Gower (Panthers) field goal attempt unsuccessful
85 min: First half of extra time is complete. Still 24-all
5 minutes to go...
87 min: Field goal attempt from Preston Campbell (Panthers) is unsuccessful.
88 min: Field goal attempt from Gower is kinocked down
89 min: TRY - Panthers. Joe Galuvao crashes over under the posts and survives video ref scrutiny. Panthers 28-24
FULL TIME: Panthers come back to win a tremendous game of footy that could have gone either way. Well done to both teams. Penrith now extend their winning streak to 8.