THE Dungowan Cowboys have secured their first victory of the 2019 Group 4 season at the expense of the Gunnedah Bulldogs.
The Cowboys lead all day at Kitchener Park to finish 26-16 winners over the Bulldogs.
Cowboys coach Matt Wilson told the Namoi Valley Independent Saturday's victory was a "hard-fought win".
"We were under-strength in today's [Saturday's] game having lost Shaun Ferguson," Wilson said.
"It was a pretty massive thing for our boys to, 20 minutes into the first half after losing him, dig deep and get the job done."
Wilson said the side's experienced campaigners helped get the Cowboys across the line.
"For us I think Brett Jarrett, Lachy Collins and Ethan Collins were really strong," he said.
"I think this result proves how well we can do if we can stay in the grind.
"If we can stay with sides and really stay in the grind for 80 minutes, we have a good enough side to win.
"So, staying in the grind will be our focus going forward."
Bulldogs coach John Hickey agreed that staying in the grind of a match was important, and a focus for his side going forward.
"I think we certainly got off to a sluggish start in the game but I think the opposition just played better than us," Hickey said.
"How they played their game dictated how we played our game.
"We have to understand that we have to earn our wins, we have to grind our way to the premiership."
Hickey said his side's skill errors "hurt the most" in the loss to the Cowboys.
"When you think we missed every one of our conversions, a 26-16 scoreline isn't too bad," he said.
"There is certainly room for improvement, we fumbled quite a bit, in fact I don't think I can even remember us finishing a set of six.
"So, when you take all of that into account, there is a good platform for us to work on and improve on going forward."