St. Joseph’s College rounded off the league season with a win, beating fellow Maradana lads, Zahira, 38-14 in the game played at Welisara.
St. Joseph’s consolidated their place on the points table with a win over Zahira College in the Maradana Darby.
Saturday’s win was built around an uncompromising forward effort, slick handling and the ever-reliable play of fullback Gemunu Chethiya.
The mid-table Josephians ran in six tries to the Zahirians two, with Sachith Silva surprisingly adding just one conversion and two penalties.
The Josephians made just a single change, with Chathura Seneviratne switching places with Ravin Antonio in which otherwise was an unchanged line up.
The change had an immediate impact as the make-shift centre scored off a scintillating chip and chase soon after captain Vinul Fernando was disallowed of a try with a suspicion of a forward pass.
Sachith Silva’s wait to reach the century points mark was extended as the winger missed the touch-line conversion. (SJC 05-00 ZC)
The Josephians brought about the enterprising running game they promised in pre-season as they showed ambition early on.
Zahira, to their eternal credit, showed promise, not letting the Josephians get under their skin.
Sameesha Virange exploited space provided at the back by the Zahira lads as his dink-in-behind was collected by Vinul Fernando.
Thereafter, the Josephians piled on the pressure and it was Gemunu Chethiya who was rewarded with a try, for his quick thinking.
The fullback, stuck in the centre of the ruck, picked and dived over the white wash to extend the Josephians advantage. Sachith failed to add the extras. (SJC 10-00 ZC)
The next points came off the boot of Sachith Silva as the prolific points scoring winger reached the century points mark with a penalty as Zahira was penalized for an illegal hand in the ruck. (SJC 13-00 ZC)
In an extremely tight arm wrestle, more points were to follow as a successful first half was drawing ever-so close to an end.
Sachith scored the third unconverted try off a set-piece move as the Josephians seemed to pull away on the stroke of half time.
Half Time: St. Joseph’s 18 (3T 1P) – 00 Zahira
Things seemed to slow down at the beginning of the second half as both teams seemed to get into consolidation mode, even though Zahira was chasing the game.
Silva knocked over three additional points as the Josephians moved into the twenties.
Zahira got on the board as captain and scrumhalf Amath set up fellow halfback partner Zaid Singhawansa -who had an indifferent day– for a converted try following a quick tap which caught the Blue and Whites napping, to make it a two converted-try game. (SJC 21-07 ZC)
Fullback and Player of the match, Gemunu Chethiya rounded off his hat-trick with two further tries in quick succession.
Centre Chathura returned a kick with vigour, counter-attacking down the touchline before setting up Gemunu for the first.
His second was sensationally set up by Sachith Silva, who broke the line off a center field scrum as Zahira made a hash out of the restart. Both tries went unconverted as the Josephians went passed the thirty point mark. (SJC 31-07 ZC)
M. Nisran scored soon after going behind, off some hard work by the Zahira forwards as the lock forward dived over the white wash. Zaid converted to add some respectability to the scoreline. (SJC 31-14 ZC)
With the game all but secured, the Josephians, brought in the changes, emptying the bench, handing the youngsters some valuable experience.
It was a substitute who got his name on the score sheet next. K.D Kavinda, made an exceptional break off a scrum from inside his own half, storming 63-meters to the try line, fixing all defenders in the process.
Sachith Silva finally managed to get one conversion over on the stroke of fulltime as the winger ended as the highest points scorer with 110 points.
Full Time : St. Joseph’s College 38 (6T 1C 2P) beat Zahira College 14 (2T 2C)
ThePapare.com Player of the match: Gemunu Chethiya
Joes : Chathura Senevirathne 1T, Gemunu Chethiya 3T, Sachith Silva 1T 1C 2P, K.D Kavinda 1T
Zahira : Zaid Singhawansa 1T 2C, M. Nisran 1T