Kandy showed why they are a champion side holding off a brave effort of the Sailors in the final of the Dialog Clifford Cup at CR & FC this evening. The visiting Kandy team managed to take home the second trophy of the season with a 21-07 victory over Navy Sports Club.
At the end of the first half, it was Kandy who led 8 points to nil at Longdon Place.
The big guns Buwaneka Udangamuwa, Danushka Ranjan, Shehan Pathirana stepped up for the big game. Yet again Dulanjana Wijesinghe put up a sterling performance for Navy.
Danushka Ranjan opened the scoring for Kandy after a brilliant line-out and a break from the captain Gayan Weerarathne who gave Ranjan the straight jog to the try line. Nigel failed to convert. (Kandy 05-00 Navy)
After some scrappy handling, crooked throws and unforgivable collections for 30 minutes from both sides, Kandy finally put through a penalty right under the posts to extend their lead by another 3 points. Nigel kept his composure to put it over. (Kandy 08-00 Navy)
Kandy was held at bay for quite a while as Navy staunchly defended in their 22 before the visiting side finally broke through to score.
Navy created opportunities but were unable to capitalize.
Half Time: Kandy 08 (1T 1P) – 00 Navy
Second half started off with a bang. Legend Fazil Marija knocked it on as Navy’s Mohommed Absal pounced on the opportunity like a hungry tiger waiting for his prey before sprinting 60m and diving over the try line with a fancy celebration. Weerasinghe made no mistake from under the posts. (Kandy 8-7 Navy)
Kandy were dented straight off the kick off and that marked the beginning of an excellent second half for the league champions.
Ranjan broke the tense atmosphere around the park as he dived into the corner for the first try in the second half. Onwards came Gayan Weeraratne who was instrumental in Kandy’s next try creating the breakthrough and allowing Ranjan to score. Wijesinghe missed the conversion from the corner flag. (Kandy 13-7 Navy)
Wijesinghe, however then put Kandy further in front with an under the post penalty to clear Kandy safer of two scores. (Kandy 16-07 Navy)
The veteran Marija’ brilliance saw him taking the quick tap, and with a perfectly executed cross kick which the 6 footer Shehan ‘Lema”Pathirana crashed in for the try. This saw Kandy through to their 21st Clifford Cup silverware. (Kandy 21-07 Navy)
For Kandy it was another excellent season as they managed to go in and around being unbeaten for both the League and Knock-outs. Gayan Weerathne led from the front. His brilliant gap exploitation, the classy back-hand passes and the skill to lead the team when the momentum shifted was seen through-out the season.
Also credit to all his senior players who stepped up their game and put their hands up when the opportunity was on offer in this game and through-out the season as well.
As referee Sam Jones blew for fulltime, Kandy Sports Club had with them their 21st Clifford Cup title finishing a perfect season remaining unbeaten. It was a fairy tale send off for the veteran flyhalf, Fazil Marija as he signs out of the #10 jersey with two titles in his final year.
Full Time; Kandy 21(3T 2P) – 07 (1T 1C) Navy
Danushka Ranjan (2T)
Shehan Pathirana (1T)
Nigel Rattwatte (1P)
Thilina Wijesinghe (1P)
Mohommed Absal (1T)
Thilina Weerasinghe (1C)
ThePapare.com joins the rugby fans of Sri Lanka in bidding farewell to the maestro and thanking him for the immense service rendered to the country.
Speaking to ThePapare.com Fazil Marija explained what drove him to the be player he was throughout the 15 years. He stated that it was his mother who backed him after losing his father and he claimed from thereon he worked hard at his game never relying on just talent.