KIAMA Rugby's premiership aspirations for 2014 were extinguished when they played out a disappointing 15-all draw with Vikings on Saturday afternoon.
Needing a win to leapfrog Vikings into the semi-finals, the Cows defended superbly only to have the home side score in the dying seconds.
Kiama ran with the stiff breeze in the first half, 100-game celebrant Lindsay King-Gee scoring a rampaging try next to the posts.
Leighton Cowley followed suit soon after, while Ben King-Gee also chipped in with a penalty and conversion.
Vikings scored a converted try just before half-time against the run of play, whittling Kiama's lead to eight points.
With three players yellow carded, Kiama were stretched to the limit.
Their defence was outstanding, Andrew Sulter, Nathan Milthorpe and Steve Emmet leading the way in the forwards.
Clint Paget pulled off some brilliant covering tackles, solidly supported by Jacob Riwai-Couch.
Mick Kauter was inspirational in the forwards, making the tough yards.
Sam Moore and Nathan Trindall made penetrating runs with the former being held up over the line, denying the Cows of what would have been a season-saving try.
Kiama seconds put up a great fight before going down 22-7.
Josh Marley scored in the opening minutes to put Kiama ahead, while Brendon Long, Ted Makowski, Heath Dennelly and Johnny Wilkinson toiled hard in the forwards and Chris Meizer had a blinder at halfback.
The players and large crowd of supporters were gutted by the result in what was the finale of a great season for the Cows.
Coming from wooden spooners last year to just miss out on the play-offs was a massive effort and all players, coaches, committee and supporters are to be congratulated.
Next season now beckons with the all the players and coaches pledging to build on the this year's improvements.
The club thanked all their supporters and sponsors. Presentation night is scheduled for Friday, October 24 in the clubhouse.