Superlative second half by the defending champions Kandy Sports Club ensured that they cruse past the high riding CH & FC outfit 31 points to 13 in the Dialog Rugby League super round encounter played at Nittawela this evening. With this resounding victory Kandy managed to keep their title hopes alive and face the park club for a league decider next week.
Samuel Maduwantha kick started this crunch game as CH aimed at continuing their winning streak up to 10 games and on the other hand the defending champions Kandy had to win this game to keep their title hopes alive. Maduwantha silenced the Kandy crowd early on with a marvelous 52-meter drop goal to open the scoring for the gymkhana club. (KANDY 00 – 03 CH)
Surprisingly Maduwantha missed an attempt at a three pointer but redeemed himself later as he bisected the sticks and added an easy three-pointer when Oshan Perera made a dangerous tackle on Nishon Perera and was sent to bin for a ten minute breather by referee Charlie Brown. (KANDY 00 – 06 CH)
Few phases later Thilina Wijesinghe slotted in an easy penalty when CH were deemed offside by referee Brown as Kandy opened their account. (KANDY 03 – 0 CH)
Kandy backs made some promising attacking moves but couldn’t convert them to points as CH defended exceptional but the gymkhana club too couldn’t add any further points to their tally before the break.
Half Time – KANDY SC 03 (1P) – CH & FC 06 (1P,1DG)
Kandy started the second half on a high when the skipper Richard Dharamapala broke the CH defence in to pieces with his exquisite speed and drew the last CH defenders towards him and opened up space to his outside half Nigel Ratwatte to touch down a vital try for the hill capital outfit. Wijesinghe managed increase their lead through perfectly executed conversion from very difficult angle. (KANDY 10 – 06 CH)
Kandy backs showed their vintage moves as quick hands by the backs sent the ball to the speedster Anuradha Wilware as he fended off Maduwantha and sprinted towards the white wash to score a superlative try. Wijesinghe added very important extra points from a tight angle to further increase the lead. (KANDY 17 – 06 CH)
CH absorbed the pressure and managed to reply quickly through a try from Maduwantha as he went over the line and silenced the Kandy supporters. Maduwantha managed to convert his try and reduced the deficit to 4 points. (KANDY 17 – 13 CH)
Kandy defended exceptionally as CH pilled on the pressure through several rolling mauls but Kandy managed to keep the gymkhana club at bay. A deep kick from Wijesinghe was collected by Maduwantha but the youngster took too much time to kick back as the kick was smothered by Nigel Ratwatte and he collected the loose ball and went over to score the match winning try while Wijesinghe added the extras to increase their lead. (KANDY 24 – 13 CH)
In the dying stages of the game Thilina Wijesinghe ran an excellent line and destroyed the CH defence and scored the bonus point try. Wijesinghe added the icing on the cake with a fabulous conversion from the corner and set up one last final clash for the title next week against the Havelock Sports Club at Havelock Park.
Full Time – KANDY SC 31 (4T,4C,1P) – CH & FC 13 (1T,1C,1P,1DG)
- ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match – Nigel Ratwatte (Kandy)
- Match Referee – Charlie Brown
KANDY: Tries from Nigel Ratwatte (2). Anuradha Wilware, Thilina Wijesinghe Conversions (4) and Penalty by Thilina Wijesinghe
CH & FC: Try, Conversion, Drop goal & Penalty by Samuel Maduwantha
Cautions & Send offs:
KANDY: Oshan Perera (Yellow)