THE Kiama Knights have handed the Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs their third straight Group 7 women's league tag grand final defeat - winning 20-16 at the Collegians Sporting Complex on Sunday.
Three tries from Kiama’s player of the match Alana Glasson, was the difference, as the Knights secured their first crown since 2015.
The Bulldogs started match with short kick-off, which was courageously gathered by the competition’s leading try-scorer Olivia Patterson.
Kiama then sustained early pressure on their own line, in first five minutes, before putting together a number of attacking raids themselves – which also eventuated in no points.
A break and 60m run by Patterson then put team on front foot but off ensuing set, Kiama flier Alana Glasson intercepted a pass and ran 90m, despite the best efforts of Ebony Murray, to score under the sticks.
Glasson converted her own try for 6-nil lead after 12 minutes.
Despite the minor-premiers dominating field position, it was again the Knights who scored next.
Kiama worked the short side and Glasson scooted down the right touch line, evaded the tag of Murray and again ran more than 50 metres to score under the sticks.
She again converted her own try for 12-nil with seven to go in first half.
But the Dogs hit back three minutes later - Tanika O’Brien sliced through the line following a dummy, before attracting the attention of Kiama fullback Tyler Finn to send over Patterson over for the try.
O’Brien converted from in front for 12-6.
In the final minute of the first half, the Knights had their third when Rachel Condran scooted from dummy-half, between two Dogs defenders to score.
Glasson’s conversion attempt after the siren hit the crossbar and was waved away.
After the resumption, the Dogs scored on their first set of six, when Patterson scored her second of the afternoon, again combining with O’Brien.
Ebony Murray converted, to reduce the margin to just four.
With 17 minutes remaining, the Dogs momentum was in full swing when a Patterson cut out pass found Shannon Meredith, who stepped inside her defender to score.
O’Brien missed her conversion from 15m in from the right touchline, as scores were level at 16-all.
With nine to go, Dogs sustained back-to-back sets on their line, as Kiama can’t find way through.
But with seven minutes to go, Glasson completed her hat-trick and out her team in front once again.
After gathering the ball on her own 40m, Glasson dodged and weaved her way to score in the right corner.
She failed with her conversion, as it was 20-16 with six minutes to go.
The Bulldogs threw everything they had at the Knights in the final few minutes but couldn’t find the necessary try – as the Knights held on to win 20-16.
Kiama were led by Glasson, Kristi Pan and Tyler Finn in the win while Patterson, O’Brien and Murray did what they could for Milton-Ulladulla.