A STIRRING second half fight-back gave Kiama a 26-20 victory over Batemans Bay in their Group 7 rugby league match-up on Sunday.
It was a textbook example of the old adage of a game of two halves.
The Knights trailed 20-nil at the break in the disjointed, albeit entertaining Kiama Showground encounter following some awful ill-discipline.
However, a complete reversal in fortunes led to the home side scoring 26 unanswered points, which relegated the Tigers to the all too familiar feeling of back-to-back defeats.
Kiama failed to make the visitors pay for elementary early mistakes, instead finding themselves behind 6-nil after just five minutes when a Willy Newton cross-field bomb was batted back for Marcus Golman.
A Newton penalty goal made it 8-nil shortly after.
The Tigers made several mistakes but looked sharper in attack and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and field position throughout the first half.
Gerard Dennis extended the lead to 14-nil after 17 minutes when he bulldozed his way over from close range.
The Bay completed their first-half scoring when a clever inside ball isolated Kiama’s defenders close to the line before prop Grant Roberts stormed over.
Although having a commanding advantage, the Bay arguably could have been even further ahead if not for a few last passes going astray.
Kiama’s defensive intensity immediately improved after the resumption, and after being camped in the opposition’s half Ben Brookfield finally opened their account eight minutes in.
The momentum noticeably swung the way of the home team when a repeat set gave returning Knights skipper Marc Laird the chance to power his way over for a converted try.
The lottery of the blustery conditions were best illustrated by the ensuing kick-off trickling dead, only for Kiama to find touch from the goal-line drop-out and earn the scrum feed.
Back-to-back penalties just seconds later put the Knights on the attack and they reaped the rewards as winger Nathan Trindall received a dream bounce from a short kick to score out wide.
The comeback was then complete as the Knights took the lead for the first time when a clever ball from replacement Tom Atkins sent Oliver Powell over for 24-20.
A Trindall penalty goal five minutes from full-time after the Tigers infringed while in possession appeared to seal the win, although there were some nervous moments for the home fans as the Bay attacked right until the final siren.