THE Kiama Knights had to overcome a dire Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs side to claim a 21-14 win at Bill Andriske Mollymook Oval on Sunday.
Ten minutes into the game both sides were having difficulty in settling down with stern defence applied by both sides.
It was seven minutes into the game when Milton's youthful winger Kirren Roughley went in with Luke Young missing the shot.
The locals again found themselves on the attack when the Kiama defence were penalised for a lifting tackle on Milton half Jayde Tooth.
Tooth was taking the line on in a fearless display and another Milton penalty in the 14th minute saw the Milton forwards attack and create a try for centre Adam Bliss to cross.
With Kiama's busy hooker Brent Wake in the sinbin Tooth was rewarded with a try in the 23rd minute.
Luke Young converted and the Bulldogs looked like entering the sheds at 14-nil.
Young was having an off day with his conversion attempts but his kicking in general play kept turning Kiama around. Milton gained a penalty when Kiama's kick chasers felled Young yet again.
Milton were not able to capitalise.
Minutes before half time Kiama's winger Jacob Dolan was rewarded with a try with hooker Brent Wake missing the conversion to make the scoreline 14-4.
The second half began the same as the first with both sides throwing everything at their opposition.
In the 20th minute Jacob Dolan crossed in the scoreboard corner with Wake missing the conversion.
The crowd sensed an exciting finish with the game in the balance.
In the 25th minute, Adam Bliss and Mitch Simington created some space for Luke Young who got Blake Sommerville away.
Soon after Milton gained a 20 metre restart only to lose possession and see Oliver Powell fly into the clear before Simmington made a try saving tackle.
On the half hour Milton's captain Gary Warburton succumbed to a knee injury and left the field.
Without his leadership this appeared to be the turning point in the game with Travis Poole scoring for the visitors with Jack Alexander converting to lock the scores at 14 all.
It was Kiama who were first to work their way into field goal position and fullback Tommy Atkins slotted the one pointer and turned the game for his club.
With six minutes remaining Milton regained the ball on the next play after the restart at halfway via Bliss who got Moore in the clear.
Milton kicked on the fifth deep into Kiama's territory and it was Grigg and Brown who ran the ball back.
Milton had another set of six and with Kiama's turn to attack and with four minutes left on the clock Marc Laird, one of Kiama's most experienced players forced his way over in a handy position for Alexander to convert giving the visitors a 21-14 lead.
Both packs worked hard all day with consistent performances Cameron Whittaker, Dean gentle and Brain Travers from Kiama, while Jayde tooth, Hayden Naylor and Mitch Simington were the best for the Bulldogs.