St. Peter’s College ended the 6 year hoodoo and the unbeaten run of Isipathana today at Bambalapitiya. St. Peter’s scored 32 (4T, 3C, 2P) points while Isipathana College scored 15 (3T) points. At half time it was 15 all and St. Peter’s didn’t concede a single point in the second half.
From the very first minute it was a close game with a packed crowd at Bambalapitiya. Isipathana College kicked the game off and looked to maintain their unbeaten run while the Peterites were determined to cause an upset.
Isipathana prop Ramesh Premadasa was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle early in the game by referee Irshad Cader and Stephan Sivaraj bisected the uprights with an easy penalty kick to score the first points of the game. Isipathana struggled with the lineouts in the early stages where the hooker Nepul Athukorala over threw the ball and the nippy Peterite scrum half Ravin Fernando collected the ball and with his dazzling side stepping move ensured that he went over for St.Peter’s to increase their lead and it was later converted by Sivaraj. (SPC 10–00 IC)
St. Peter’s had momentum with them as the Isipathana side was not yet settled into their defence and their attacking moves were under par. On the other hand the Peterites played a lot with their forwards knowing that the Isipathana pack was the weak point of the defending champions. St. Peter’s forwards gained more than 30 meters through the rolling maul before referee awarded a penalty to St. Peter’s when the Isipathana defence was deemed offside. Ravin Fernando took a quick tap and passed it to Theekshana Dassanayke to touch down for the Peterites. Sivaraj missed his conversion. (SPC 15–00 IC)
Isipathana College finally got their act together with three quick tries to equalize the game before half time. Bulky prop Vikash Vimadawa overpowered himself over Theekshana Dassanayake through pick and drive to score the first try for his team. Harith Bandara scored the next try when Devin Gunarathne picked the ball from the back of the scrum and offloaded to Bandara for an easy touch down.
Final try of the first half came in the last move before half time when Isipathana College was dominating possession through continuous phrases of play using their forwards. Harith Bandara finally opted to use his back by passing it to the standoff Anjana Kulasekara and he passed a long cut out pass to Sudeera Gayanath to score in the right hand corner for Isipathana. None of the three tries were converted by Isipathana College. (SPC 15–15 IC)
Half Time – SPC (2T, 1C, 1P) 15 – 15 (3T) IC
Second half was dominated by the Peterites where their defence was magnificent and their attack was even better. Stephan Sivaraj controlled the game superbly while the forwards played an outstanding game. The Peterites had a great awareness about the game, which was evident when Isipathana knocked the ball forward the playmaker Sivaraj collected the ball and went forward as referee Cader played advantage and Sivaraj offloaded the ball to Ravin Fernando. Fernando then made some yards before offloading it to Theekshana Dassanayake to score under the post. Sivaraj added the valuable extras. (SPC 22–15 IC)
Isipathana forwards were outclassed by the Peterite pack and referee Cader awarded another penalty to the Peterites when the Isipathana forwards were deliberately pushing the scrum sideways. Sivaraj obliged with a perfect kick from a difficult angle to increase the lead for the boys from Bamba. (SPC 25–15 IC)
Final try of the game came when Isipathana knocked on the ball in their own red zone and Dilshan Madushanka picked the ball and offloaded it to the dangerous Theekshana Dassanayake to score his hat-trick and ensure a victory for the Peterites after six long years against the green machines. (SPC 32–15 IC)
Full Time – SPC (4T, 3C, 2P) 32 – 15 (3T) IC
ThePapare player of the match – Stephan Sivaraj (St.Peter’s College)
Match referee – Irshad Cader
The score breakdown
St.Peter’s College 32 (15) 4T, 3C, 2P
Tries: Ravin Fernando, Theekshana Dassanayake (3)
Conversion: Stephan Sivaraj (3)
Penalties: Stephan Sivaraj (2)
Isipathana College 15 (15) 3T
Tries: Vikash Vimadawa, Harith Bandara, Sudeera Gayanath