The reds from Longdon Place registered a vital victory against Air Force SC beating them by 27 points to 17 in their own backyard.
Ironically it were the visitors who took the upper hand early on in the game. Air Force did not have the services of their star performer Radheesha Seneviratne but the boys in blue managed to put the home side under immense pressure early on. Gayantha Iddamalgoda got his team going with a drop goal in the 5th minute. CR&FC’s defence was tested in the first ten minutes but they managed to hold it together. (CR&FC 0 – Air Force 3)
After initial burst from Air Force, things went south for the visitors as the reds bounced back with a converted try by Hirantha Manamendra. Taariq Salih took the ball from the scrum, carried the ball inches away from the try line and it was Hirantha who made finishing touches to open the scoreboard for the home side. Ratwatte added extras with ease. (CR&FC 7 – Air Force 3)
They followed it up with another try and this time it was the young Reeza Raffaideen who found his way over down the corner flag. A typical try for a winger, ball taken from the scrum and worked towards Reeza who just had to accelerate his way through open space. Unfortunately Ratwatte was unable to add the extras. (CR&FC 12 – Air Force 3)
The home side kept on piling up the scores as the third try of the game came few minutes later. This time the experienced Kavindu Perera spotted a gap on the outside and forced his way through to extend their lead. The visitors were down and out but they managed to draw back the deficit with a converted try by Sooriya Krishan just before the half time. Line out ball which was taken cleanly by Air Force, using their forwards to push closer to the try line and it was Sooriya who ultimately jumped over to score.
Half Time: CR & FC 19 – Air Force 10
2nd half was a drag comparing to the first half. Air Force came out with a bang and looked threatening in the first ten minutes just like they did at the start of the game. They would believe that they should have got some points during that phase but a few unforced errors let them down even though they managed to go deep inside the CR half.
However it was CR who prevailed yet again. They bounced back with a try from Tarinda Ratwatte. Initially he broke through the half way mark catching the Air Force defence in tatters. After a few phases inside the 10m, Ratwatte once again gathered the ball from the ruck and jumped over. (CR&FC 24 – Air Force 10)
CR&FC were put under pressure yet again in their own half. Going into the last quarter they lost Kavindu Perera after been sent off due to dangerous tackle. Adding salt to the wound, the referee went on to award a penalty try to Air Force after CR&FC conceded a string of penalties inside their own 22m. (CR&FC 24 – Air Force 17)
Despite the constant pressure from the Airmen, CR&FC managed to hold them off. Ratwatte played a vital role once again for the reds and he managed to field a drop goal in the dying moments of the game. With 5 minutes remaining, CR&FC were down to 14 once again when Kolila Sammandaperuma received a yellow card.
However, the 14-man CR&FC managed to hold on to the lead until the final whistle. With this win CR&FC will be strong contenders for the 2nd spot as the fight goes at the top of the table.
Full Time: CR & FC 27 (4T, 2C, 1DP) – Air Force 17 (2T, 2C, 1DP)
ThePapare.com’s Man of the Match: Tarinda Ratwatte (CR&FC)
Points Scorers for CR & FC