Kiama Knights have broken through for their first top grade premiership in 34 years after scoring a convincing five tries to three, 28-14, win over the Jamberoo Superoos in a hard fought Grand Final clash.
“We haven’t won a first grade premiership since 1985, and have been beaten in the last two grand finals, so it is a real sense of achievement for us,” says Senior Club President Steve Norris.
He credits the Club’s reinvigoration to a return to the culture of promoting their local talent.
“We’ve been club champions for the last three years, which we hadn’t done for 50 years prior to that.
“We won the last two reserve grade premierships and the ladies league tag, but the icing on the cake is to finally take out the first grade one.
“The real sense of family we have in the club has led to success on the field.”
Appearing in their third consecutive decider, the Knights were determined to make sure it would be third-time-lucky against the side that had lowered their colours in 2017, and produced some spectacular tries along the way against the Superoos.
After soaking up early pressure, the Jamberoo side were on the board in the sixth minute when five-eighth Mark Asquith dummied his way over and Kurt Field converted for a 6-0 lead.
However their joy was short-lived when Tom Angel crashed over off a Dylan Morris pass and minutes later fullback Tom Atkins scored a superb individual effort when he grubber-kicked through and dived on the ball. Man-of-the Match Cam Vassoler converted to give his side a 10-6 lead.
Two Vassoler penalties stretched the lead to eight before Knights captain Keiran Poole produced a great individual effort and at 18-6 the Knights were flying high.
Right on halftime Vassoler produced a great clearing kick and a flying Dylan Morris raced 60 metres and scooped up the ball to race over under the posts for what proved to be a crushing blow to Jamberoo’s hopes of a second half comeback.
The Superoos managed to pull one back midway through the second half when lock Luke Asquith barged over.
However the Knights had one last try in them when Callum Thistlethwaite fielded a bomb out wide and send Matt Morris diving over in the corner.
Jamberoo kept battling and with three minutes remaining scored the final try of the day through Kurt Field, however it proved too-little too-late as the Knights celebrated in style as the fulltime siren sounded.