Replacement halfback Herschel Jantjies scored a try in the 86th minute as the Stormers claimed a first win of the Super Rugby season with a 19-17 victory over the Lions at Newlands.
The try, a first of the campaign for the home side, put the Stormers into the lead for the first time in a game in which both team made numerous handling and discipline errors.
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They were trailing by five points after the hooter but won a succession of penalties as they attacked the Lions line.
Captain Siya Kolisi had initially asked wing SP Marais to kick for touch to set up an attacking line-out but changed his mind and opted for a scrum, from which Jantjies found the smallest of gaps to run through and score under the posts.
Loose-forward Kwagga Smith and number eight Warren Whiteley crossed for the Lions in the first half, with flyhalf Elton Jantjies kicking two conversions and a penalty.
The visitors hit the front after five minutes when Smith powered his way over following an attacking line-out from a Pieter-Steph du Toit indiscretion at the ruck.
Marais narrowed the lead with a penalty but the Lions got a second score when Whiteley burrowed across the line from close range.
The Springbok loose-forward had to leave the field shortly afterwards with what looked a pectoral problem that will spark concern given his recent injury woes.
The Stormers' discipline was poor in the first period as they battled to gain momentum but they went into the break trailing 14-6 after another Marais penalty.
They started the second half more brightly and after Marais had missed a shot at goal he landed a third penalty to reduce the deficit to five points.
Bok lock Eben Etzebeth was introduced for his first minutes of the season and immediately carried the ball twice to great effect, including winning another penalty in front of the poles that was converted by Marais.
But when another Stormers error from the kick-off handed the Lions a penalty, Herschel Jantjies restored the five-point lead.
The home side were camped in the Lions 22 for the final 20 minutes but their execution let them down and it looked as though they would endure a second defeat of the season before Jantjies provided the magic touch to snatch the win.