Clinical Saunders lands a Cup at long last

mayor's cup final

Saunders SC grabbed the limited opportunities they got to defeat Mayor’s XI 3-0 in the final of the Mayor’s Cup, thus landing their first major title since the Premier League title win in the 2004-05 season.

Photo Album – Mayor’s XI v Saunders SC – Mayor’s Cup 2015 (Final)

Sri Lanka’s oldest and richest, in terms of titles, club has had a torrid time in the last decade where they have failed to reach the high expectations associated with Saunders but it all changed when Rohana Ruwanthilaka, Chrishantha Abeysekara and Traore Mohamed scored in the all-important final in front of thousands of fans.

Mayor's cup finalsThe two sides were in excellent form on their path to the final, with Mayor’s XI thrashing Java Lane 4-1 and defeating the in-form Renown SC 2-0 in the semi-final. Saunders too took advantage of sloppy Blue Star to win 4-2 and thumped newly crowned Champions League winners Colombo FC 5-1 in their semi-final.

Saunders got off to the perfect start when Rohana Ruwanthilaka headed into an empty net from close inside the first ten minutes. Traore Mohamed’s initial header from a Chrishantha Abeysekara cross was blocked by Sudesh Suranga and Abeysekara sent the rebound ball back into the net which took a deflection off Perumal Praveen towards an unmarked former Sri Lanka skipper who had the easiest of tasks.

TMayor's cup finalshere on in, it was the Mayor’s XI who grew into the game keeping possession but was unable to break the Saunders defense led by Ruwanthilaka and Niagoran Eudes.

Soaking up the pressure it was Saunders who threatened time and time again on the counter attack but both sides went into half time with the score at 1-0.

Minutes after the start of the second half it was Saunders who struck once more when Abeysekara took a pass from Dilan Kausalya and fired a thundering shot to the far post after driving towards the edge of the box.

A Mayor’s XI comeback was buried in the 54th minute when Traore pounced on a miscommunication between the goalkeeper Sudesh Suranga and the defense to score with Suranga rushing back in despair. With that goal Traore had scored five goals since his debut for Saunders in the quarter final.

Mayor's cup finalsTill the final whistle it was a mere formality as Saunders controlled proceedings to walk away with the Mayor’s Cup. Man of the Match: Rohana Ruwanthilaka

Officials Most Valuable Player: Rasik Rishad (Saunders SC goalkeeper) Most Valuable Player: Traore Mohamed