ON a day that was more suited to surfing than rugby, Kiama first grade rugby's unbeaten run came to a gallant end at Ocean Park, Woonona on Saturday.
A large contingent of Kiama supporters witnessed a game that was dominated by the brutal battle between the two forward packs.
Initially Kiama had the upper hand with Nathan Mililthorpe, Steve Emmet and Mick Kauter causing headaches for the home defence.
Kauter in particular put on some memorable hits.
Kiama scored first with a Ben King-Gee penalty but was countered by a sustained rolling maul from Shammies resulting in a converted try.
The Cows backs stepped up a notch, scoring two unconverted tries to Sam Moore and Nathan Trindall, but this surge was negated by two penalties to Shammies, bringing the half-time score to 13-10 Kiama's way.
Shammies' smothering defence in the second stanza gave Kiama's backs no room to move and the home side banged over a penalty and scored another try.
Kiama were still right in the contest, but a sequence of line ball calls went against them.
With the score now 21-13 in the home team's favour, the game was poised to go either way but after an injury break Kiama couldn't haul back the deficit.
Seconds also put up a valiant effort.
They looked like going on with the job when leading 8-7 at half-time.
Ross Thorley finished off a great break by Benny Wade, Carlin Simon adding a penalty.
However, Shammies exerted relentless pressure, adding a penalty and two unconverted tries to run out winners 19-8 in a physical, evenly fought contest.
There are no games next weekend but on May 31, the Cows host the Wollongong Uni Bulls at Kiama Showground.
This is a special fixture in their calendar - Ladies Day, so come on down.