Havelocks SC dominated proceedings, beating a worn out Police SC outfit 46-26 in the Clifford Cup quarter final game played at Race Course International stadium.
Rajitha Sansony kicked the game off amidst a steady drizzle as the heavens opened a few minutes before the game.
A late change in the starting line-up saw Chamika Samarathunge sent into start the game for the Havies even though Vimukthi Rahula was in line to start.
The winger scored twice within five minutes of kickoff; he was on the end of a quick tap to dot down for the opener. The second was a more conventional try as he dotted down following an eye catching move off the tail of the scrum. An eight, nine eleven move was ended by the winger in the far left corner. Hirantha Perera failed with the first but converted the second to put the Havies ahead by 12. (Havis 12-00 Police)
The weather deteriorated fast but the intensity of the game never died down as both teams came at each other hammer and tongs.
The Cops squandered two genuine try scoring opportunities but managed their first try through high scoring prop forward Udara Gayan. Winger Abzal was the first to react and passed to the big loose-head as he shoved his way through the Havelocks bodies to score. Sansony failed with the conversion. (Havis 12-05 Police)
Both teams traded tries through Sudam and Abzal as the weather eased ever so slightly. Kevin Dixon made a dazzling break down the far wing and popped a pass to scrum half Sudam as he stepped the final defender to score.
Abzal replied with a try of his own as the makeshift winger made it a five point game for Police. Sansony converted the try for Police even though Hirantha failed with his effort to convert Sudam’s try. (Havis 17-12 Police)
Hirantha soon scored a converted try, running untouched as a kick and chase found him deserted beside the posts. Radeesha Senevirathna replied with a try on the brink of half time taking Police into the break trailing by five.
Half Time: Havelocks SC 24 (4T 2C) lead Police SC 19 (3T 2C)
The Cops had the law laid down to them by Coach Sampath and came out firing on all cylinders.
Radeesha scored his second of the game to take Police into the lead for the first time in the game. He broke off a five meter scrum and was found by scrum half Janith Chathuranga six phases later to dot down. Sansony converted with ease to take the cops into the lead by a slender two point margin. (Havis 24-26 Police)
Prashanth Madusanka scored for the men in pink as the tide turned and the game shifted in the favor of the team from Havelock town. The omnipresent Hooker found himself charging on a pass and forced his way through to the try line.
Nishon Perera then shrugged his way through to the try line, beating three defenders in the process, to score as Hirantha Perera failed with both conversions. (Havis 34-26 Police)
The in-form centre scored his second of the game to seal the match with more than fifteen minutes to go in the quarter final. Chamara Dabare collected a sumptuous chip and offloaded to Nishon as he dotted down in the far corner. Kevin Dixon opted to go for goal with the conversion but the result was the same as he missed from the touch line. (Havis 39-26 Police)
Police was held to just a solitary try in the second stanza as workhorse flanker Sudarshana Muthuthanthri placed the cherry on top of the cake to see Havelocks through to the semi-final of the Clifford Cup knockout tournament. Hirantha made no mistake adding the extras as the game drew to a close.
Full-Time: Havelocks SC 46 (8T 3C) beat Police SC 26 (4T 3C)
ThePapare.com Player of the Match: Janik Jayasuriya
Havelocks SC: Chamika Samarathunge 2T, Sudam Suriarachchi, Hirantha Perera 1T 3C, Prashanth Madusanka, Nishon Perera 2T, Sudarshana Muthuthanthri
Police SC: Udara Gayan, Abzal Mohomad, Radeesha Senevirathna 2T, Rajitha Sansony 3C