The Magpies took a 12-6 lead at half time with tries to Marion Seve as early as the second minute, then again through Scott Doyle and Jack Joass.
The Hunters were right back in the game two minutes into the second half when Ase Boas crossed over.
Noel Zeming converted to level the score at 12-12.
The lead changed again just 7 minutes later when Joass grabbed his second of the match.
Doyle extended the score out to 20-12 for the Magpies in the 67th minute converting a penalty to put the margin beyond a converted try.
But two tries to Zeming in the last five minutes of play stole the win for the home side.
The winning try came seconds before the final hooter with one last pass that saw Zeming crash over to slam the ball down on the wing to leave the Magpies guttered.
Hunters centre, Thompson Teteh who played his 50th game tonight was awarded the man of the match.