Josephians hold on for heart-stopping victory to secure Lady Jayathilake Shield

Dialog Schools Rugby League 2022

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An unconverted last gasp try by S. Thomas’ College meant that St. Joseph’s College secured the Lady Jayathilake Shield after a lapse of 2 years as the Lads from Maradana managed to win the Dialog Schools Rugby League, played at Havelock Park – 30 (4T 2C 2P) – 28 (3T 2C 3P). 

St. Joseph’s College got off to the perfect start through a try from Naveen Marasinghe soon after kick off at the Park grounds on a sunny July afternoon.

The try went unconverted as both the Thomians knew they had a game on their hands. (SJC 05-00 STC)

The Thomians are into the deficit with a penalty of their own through the boot of Yehan Bulathsinhalage.

Indiscipline crept into proceeding from the side of the Josephians as the visitors managed to get a hold of the game by the scruff of its neck.

Next, it was the Thomian Eighth man Chariya Kurukulasuriya who managed to get himself on the scoresheet as the visitors went in front for the first time. Yehan Bulathsinhalage notched over the extras from close range. (SJC 05-10 STC)

The topsy turvy nature of the game meant that the Josephians managed two further tries in the first half to go into Leamon’s with a 7-point advantage.

Jehan Athukorala and Naveen Marasinghe were the try scores, as Dihara Subash managed to convert just one of the two tries.

Half Time: St. Joseph’s College 17 (3T 1C) lead S. Thomas’ College 10 (1T 1C 1P)

Both coaches laid the law down at the halftime interval as neither team had any idea of giving up the game with plenty on the line.

The Thomian Five-eighth Yehan Bulathsinhalage grabbed hold of proceedings, scoring soon after half time and converting his own try to draw level as the Josephians were struck by lightning in the first few exchanges of the second half. (SJC 17-17 STC)

The hosts extended their lead further with a couple of penalties via the boot of Dilhara Subash. However, Yehan Bulathsinhalage ensured their home team was in check with a penalty of his own. (SJC 23-20 STC) 

Naveen Marasinghe scored his second of the game as the Josephians looked to be running away with the game following the extras from the boot of Subash. However, Yehan Bulathsinhalage continued to peg the home side back to keep Thora intact, with the game headed toward the dying embers of proceedings. (SJC 30-23 STC) 

The surprise penalty shocked the onlooking Thomian faithful, but Yehan Bulathsinhalage and his coaching staff had other ideas as the game looked to slip through the fingers of the visitors.

The visitors gathered their thoughts, as Janith Marasinghe of the Josephians was sin-binned due to a cynical penalty for not retreating back 10-meters off a Thomian Penalty.

This meant the Thomians had one final opportunity from which Fullback Jaden Koch worked his way to the corner flag to score with the game hanging on the conversion to draw proceedings level.

Yehan Bulathsinhalage missed in unfortunate fashion from a tough angle as the Josephians hung on for a famous heart-stopping victory to secure the Lady Jayathilake Shield, and with it, their unbeaten run of the Dialog Schools’ Rugby League.

Full Time: St. Joseph’s College 30 (4T 2C 2P) beat S. Thomas’ College 28 (3T 2C 3P)

NDB Player of the Match: Naveen Marasinghe (Josephian Eighth Man)

Score Breakdown:

St. Joseph’s College:

Naveen Marasinghe 3T, Jehan Athukorala 1T,  Dihara Subash 2C 2P, Janith Marasinghe (Yellow Card)

S.Thomas’ College:

Chariya Kurukulasuriya 1T, Yehan Bulathsinhalage 1T 2C 3P, Koch 1T