THE Warilla-Lake South Gorillas kept their finals aspirations alive on Sunday, as they defeated an impressive and tough Stingrays of Shellharbour side by 22-16 at Cec Glenhomes Oval.
The victory sees them just one competition point behind the fifth-placed Nowra-Bomaderry Jets heading into the final round of the season.
It sets the Gorillas up for a must-win game against Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles at Cec Glenhomes Oval next Sunday and will need the result of the Jets and Gerringong Lions clash to go their way in order to qualify for semi-final football.
After the Stingrays conceded possession on halfway line, the Gorillas jumped to an early 12-nil lead after 15 minutes through Kayne Brennan, who was helped by a hard-running game from his inside men.
Daniel Burke assisted the try of Nathan Hore and landed both conversions.
The Stingrays tightened their defence as handling errors and failing to make touch of penalty kicks frustrated the home side.
Stingrays winger Cameron Caruso benefited from a perfect cut out pass from Jayden Sargent before he bagged a second close to the eastern touchline.
Jacek McLaurin landed a penalty goal from right in front of the uprights and at half-time the Stingrays trailed 12-10.
The Stingrays were forced defend on their own goal line early in the second period.
The Gorillas extended their lead to 16-10 through a clever side stepping try from Jake Kinzett directly off a Stingrays goal line drop out.
After Hans Schuster was denied a try, the Gorillas extended their lead as Kanye Brennan bagged a double for the match.
Burke converted as his side led by 22-10.
The visitors continued to fight right to the end as Terry Harkness claimed a try off the back of a perfectly waited grubber kick from Ryan o' Shea.
McLaurin landed his sideline conversion with just one-minute remaining in the match.
The Gorillas withstood any late comeback and claimed an important 22-16 victory.
Kayne Brennan, Jake Kinzett, Daniel Burke, Guy Rosewarn and Chad Lisch were the gorillas best while Alphonse Pyne, Anthony Nabbe, Hone Tukere, Cameron Caruso and Liam Quinn were the standouts for the Stingrays.