It was a long time coming for CH&FC as they registered their first win in 31 matches, beating arch rivals CR&FC by 19 points to 12 in their Dialog Rugby League encounter at the Race Course International Stadium.
CH&FC, as they always do, turned up for their 31st match since their last win to fight and fight till the last second. To make it all the more special it was against their arch rivals CR&FC.
It was all set up for an easy win for the boys from Longdon Place, they were high on confidence after a brilliant comeback victory against Navy last week. CH&FC on the other hand had fought hard during the past couple of weeks but failed to register any wins as a result of inconsistency.
It is fair to say that CR had their worse day on the field. From the kick off until the final second, they looked confused while CH&FC were right on the money. Samuel Maduwantha got things going with a penalty from 40m out to put them ahead. (CH&FC 3 – CR&FC 0)
CH managed to extend their lead with another five points when Lee Keegal pulled off some individual brilliance to score their first try. After receiving the ball from 40m out, he bounced off two defenders and ran around Chamod Fernando to touch down near the corner flag. (CH&FC 8 – CR&FC 0)
The visitors immediately bounced back with a converted try by Reeza Rafaideen. It was Chamod Fernando who broke through the defenses and CR managed to just work the ball to the far corner to get over the line. Unfortunately for them, this was the only occasion that CR&FC looked in control. (CH&FC 8 – CR&FC 7)
Tarinda Ratwatte had an easy chance to get his team ahead but he missed a fairly easy penalty from 30m out. He got another chance to add three points when Henry Terrence conceded a penalty and was sent off for ‘too much chatter’ in response but once again he failed to bisect the uprights. Just before half time, Samuel Maduwantha managed to add 3 more points for CH to extend their lead by 4 points.
Half Time: CH&FC 11 – CR&FC 7
The home side started off the second half with a bang. It was once again Lee Keegal who showed great match awareness and intent. CH&FC stole the ball from the line-out and Samuel Maduwantha, who was at first receiver, saw the run from Keegal on the outside and chipped the ball over the defensive line. Keegal timed his run to perfection dived over the ball to score his second try of the game. (CH&FC 16 – CR&FC 7)
CR&FC, who had their backs to the wall, brought in the likes of Omalka Gunarathne and Rehan Silva as replacements in the last 20 minutes. CH&FC too made their changes but maintained the same physicality right through the 80 minutes. In the 65th minute CH&FC managed to touch down for the third time after a brilliant set move by the Rajapaksa brothers Rohitha and Yoshitha but after a referral to the TMO the try was ruled out.
Samuel Maduwantha got another opportunity to add 3 points and he did so easily to increase the lead for CH. Time was ticking away and both teams showed desperation in the field. In the process, Sasanka Ariyarathna and Sathya Ranathunga from CH&FC and Gayan Dilshan from CR&FC were sent off.
In the final minute of the game CR&FC managed an unconverted try but the match was long gone.
Full time: CH & FC 19 (2T 3P) – CR & FC 12 (2T 1C)
- ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match: Lee Keegal (CH&FC)
Point scorers for CH&FC: Tries from Lee Keegal (2), Penalties from Samuel Maduwantha (3)
Bookings (Yellow): Henry Terance, Sathya Ranathunga, Sasanka Ariyarathna
Points scorers for CR&FC: Tries from Reeza Rafaideen (1) and Kushan Indunil (1)
Conversion from Tarinda Ratwatte (1)
Bookings (Yellow): Gayan Dilshan