An early Keith Earls try and a Ronan O'Gara penalty had given the Lions a 10-lead before the Emerging Boks closed the gap to a single score at half-time thanks to a penalty from senior Springbok squad member Earl Rose.
Rose then cut the deficit to just four points after 47 minutes but a late penalty from replacement outside-half James Hook seemed to have clinched victory for the Lions at the same ground in which the Welshman's boot had seen off Western Province 10 days earlier.
It wasn't to be for the Lions, however, as de Waal's floated miss pace found Demas unmarked on the right wing in the 80th minute at Newlands.
The siren signalling the end of the match sounded as De Waal lined up his conversion attempt from the right touchline but somehow the Stormers pivot kept his nerve to secure a famous result for the most promising uncapped players in the Republic.
Victory would have seen Ian McGeechan's men finish with a 100-per-cent against provincial, Super 14, invitational and non-Test opposition but a draw at least means the tourists end their non-Test fixtures unbeaten for the first time since 1989.
Conditions in Cape Town were nothing short of horrendous with torrential downpours a feature throughout the 80 minutes and that clearly had an effect on Lions skipper O'Gara when he lined up his first penalty of the day inside four minutes.
The Lions should have moved 3-0 in front courtesy of O'Gara's boot when impressive continuity from a Lions pack well marshalled by Harry Ellis eventually wore down the Emerging Boks defence, forcing the home side to give away a penalty almost straight in front of the posts.
The conditions under foot got the better of O'Gara, however, as he pulled his 25-metre effort wide of the left-hand-posts.
The Munster outside-half had little difficulty putting points on the board six minutes later, though, as he kicked an even more straight-forward effort from just 10 metres out.
Whereas the first opportunity of the match came about thanks to the effort of the Lions pack, the second penalty award was a result of some fine running by both wings. Shane Williams was the first to do damage, breaking through the first line of defence before Luke Fitzgerald followed suit in the same passage of play.
Again the Emerging Boks gave away a penalty with the Lions looking for more and this time O'Gara made the most of the opportunity.
The Lions' only try of the match arrived with a quarter of the game played after a mistake from the Emerging Boks' full back Zane Kirchner. Having been a part of the Bulls' Super 14 winning squad earlier this season, Kirchner had been talked about as a possible replacement for the injured Conrad Jantjes in the South African senior side but the 24 year-old let himself down by gifting the Lions possession.
Kirchner's attempted kick ahead fell straight into the mid-drift of Martyn Williams, with the Lions openside immediately feeding Riki Flutey on the Emerging Boks' 10-metre line. Knowing he would not have the pace to outsprint the final defender wide on the right, Flutey stepped back inside, the Lions recycled possession and Earls did the rest.
Despite the fact that the opposition had time to realign in defence, Earls sliced through untouched. The youngest member of the Lions squad stepped inside scrum-half Jano Vermaak as the Emerging Boks drifted across field to claim his second try in Lions colours.
O'Gara's conversion from just to the right of the posts took the Lions into double figures in what had been a pleasing start following the disappointment of Saturday's Test defeat to South Africa in Durban.
Conditions got even worse throughout the half, with understandable handling errors bringing play to a halt on numerous occasions.
A penalty from Rose was the only other score of the first period, with the Emerging Boks fly-half kicking a 35-metre effort on 35 minutes after sending an earlier long-distance attempt well wide of the left-hand upright.
The first action of the second half saw Rose finish off target with a drop goal attempt but it was the Lions who initially came closest to adding to their try count. A mistake at a lineout on the Emerging Boks 22 saw Donncha O'Callgahan hack through only to be beaten to the loose ball by opposition captain Dewald Potgieter.
Rose then narrowed the gap to four points with seven minutes of the half played after the Lions backline were penalised for offside in their own 22.
Neither side were able to maintain possession for long enough to trouble the tryline for the remainder of the match and, when Hook sent over his first and only penalty four minutes from time, it looked as the Lions were on their way to a morale-boosting victory.
That was until Demas and de Waal stepped up. Queue a well-taken try, an expertly struck conversion and wild celebrations from anyone and everyone in Springbok colours.
Although Tuesday's match ended on a somewhat of a sour note, the Lions can now at least focus solely on the remaining two games of the three-match Test series against the senior Springbok side.
The first of those two fixtures takes place this Saturday at Loftus Versfeld with the Lions knowing a victory is essential if they are to keep their hopes of series victory alive going into the third and final Test in Johannesburg seven days later.
|Willem de Waal||1||2|
|Ronan O'Gara (capt)||1||1||5|