A late try from centre Kyle Stanley gave St George Illawarra a hard fought 14-12 win over a gallant Parramatta side at Kogarah, breaking the Dragons' three-game NRL losing streak.
The desperate Dragons kept the ball alive to allow the powerful centre to crash over on the right edge, taking a couple of Eels across the line with him.
Stanley had also opened his team's scoring with a try in the 20th minute.
But home fans were made to sweat right to the end with winger Daniel Vidot defusing a towering Jarryd Hayne bomb near his own goal-line seconds before the fulltime siren.
The Dragons trailed 12-4 at halftime with the Eels on track to win just their second game of the season.
Against the run of the play six minutes into the second half the Dragons hit back.
Fullback Brett Morris scored a 70m try after accepting a pass from winger Jason Nightingale, who broke some feeble right edge defence, and Jamie Soward's conversion made it 12-10.
Parramatta started brilliantly with five-eighth Casey McGuire scoring after just two minutes from a Chris Sandow cross-field kick with Luke Burt converting to make it 6-0.
The Dragons were able to hit back on 20 minutes with Stanley crashing over in the right corner following a tap back from a leaping Vidot after a Soward cross-field kick.
But Vidot went from hero to villain a few minutes later when he dropped the ball inside the 30 metres and the Eels made them pay.
Back-rower Matthew Ryan charged onto a perfect Sandow short ball and beat three Dragons to score next to the posts as the visitors took a 12-4 lead with Luke Burt's easy conversion.
McGuire's season looks over after he suffered a suspected torn pectoral muscle in the 20th minute.
Parramatta coach Stephen Kearney believes centre Ryan Morgan was taken out by Stanley as he chased Hayne's bomb in the dying seconds and replays suggest he has a strong case.
"He was definitely taken out but it's pretty tough for the ref to give a penalty away in that situation," Kearney said.
"I'm sure if it was in the 32nd minute ... I'm picking there was going to be a penalty."
Overall Kearney was proud of his troops, something he admits he hasn't been many times this year.
"It was very disappointing for the lads not to be rewarded for what I thought was a tremendous effort," Kearney said of his last-placed Eels.
"It's probably the first time in a while where I've been proud of their performance."
Not only did the Eels lose McGuire after around 20 minutes, they also lost tryscorer Ryan, who left the field with a sternum injury early in the second half.
Kearney said it was too early to say if McGuire's season was over but added it doesn't look good for the veteran playmaker.
St George Illawarra captain Ben Hornby said it was a frustrating game and he was just glad to come away with the competition points after three straight losses, two of them in golden point time.
"It was one of those games where you just have to find a way to win. We were good enough to do that this week. We probably played better last week and got nothing for it ... we'll take the two points and look to get better."