Manula Wickramaratne had the last laugh as his last-minute goal left the scores level at the end of the two legs of the Hayman Trophy after Royal stunned S. Thomas’ to come back from four-foals down in the 2nd leg.
The Thomians started where they left off last week, earning a penalty right from the whistle and it was the star from last week, Isura Kahandawala, who made no mistake in sending the keeper the wrong way to extend the Thomian lead.
Royal College took a while to get going but Shamod Edirisinghe, who went unnoticed last week brought them back into the tie with a very good goal from distance.
Edirisinghe was on fire in the early exchanges and he showed his quality yet again as he completed his brace form close quarters.
The Thomians responded through Shannon Ebenezer’s close-range goal but it was all about Royal College as Shamod Edirisinghe completed his hattrick in the counter attack.
1st Quarter – RC 3 – 2 STC
Coming into the second quarter, Royal continued to dominate proceedings as their extra-man in defence proved to be a stumbling block for the Thomians. This coupled with Kalindu Hettiarachchi’s return to form allowed the Reid Avenue side to show their attacking prowess as they continued to push on only to see their efforts saved by the Thomian goalie.
Savinda Dissanayake, Royal’s main weapon, grabbed his first of the game from close quarters and was complemented by Isiwaruna De Silva, who lobbed beautifully over Thomian goalie Dilith Kumarasinghe to score their 5thshortly after.
Basith Yakoob then took a speculative shot from distance that went in off the bounce and levelled the Championship, but Shakya Gunatillake was smart in nicking one back for the Thomians before the half time whistle.
Half Time – RC 6 -3 STC
The Thomians responded almost immediately after the re-start as Shannon Ebenezer scored from the right side of the goal. This joy was short-lived as Royal pulled one back through the dynamic De Silva.
Sanaka Molligoda, who was influential in the first leg for STC, then made his presence felt as he scored his first of the game but Basith Yakoob, the Royal skipper, responded with a goal of his own just as his counterpart Gunatillake received his second exclusion of the game.
Royal took the lead for the first time in this year’s Hayman shortly after as their big prop Savinda scored the goal that the supporters had been waiting for.
The third quarter ended on a positive note for the Thomians however as the young Manula Wickramaratne netted his first of the game to level things up.
3rd Quarter – RC 9 – 5 STC
Going into the fourth quarter, both teams were throwing everything at it as they played some tremendously entertaining end-to-end Water Polo. The first goal of the quarter was netted by the Royalists as Isiwaruna De Silva scored to put Royal back in the driving-seat.
After two quick time-outs, one by either side, the Thomians showed some much-needed desire as they took the game to Royal but failed to convert chances into goals. This culminated in Manula Wickramaratne scoring what will probably be the most important goal of his life, as he lobbed one over the helpless Hettiarachchi to level the Championship.
As a result of winning last year’s encounter, S.Thomas’ now retain the Hayman for yet another year despite the overall goal tally for this year reading 14-14.
Full Time – RC 10 – 6 STC
- 1st Quarter – RC 3 –2 STC
- 2nd Quarter – RC 3 – 1 STC
- 3rd Quarter – RC 3 – 2 STC
- 4th Quarter – RC 1 – 1 STC
Shamod Edirisinghe – 3 Goals, Isiwaruna De Silva – 3 Goals, Savinda Disanayake – 2 Goals, Basith Yakoon – 2 Goals
S. Thomas’ College
Shannon Ebenezer – 2 Goals, Manula Wickramaratne – 2 Goals, Shakya Gunatillake – 1 Goal, Sanaka Molligoda – 1 Goal