League champs CR & FC are dumped out of the Clifford Cup by the Cops

League champs CR & FC are dumped out of the Clifford Cup by the Cops

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Police SC secured their place in the finals of Nippon Paint Clifford Cup 2024 by doing the unthinkable of beating the league champions, CR&FC at the first semifinal held at Racecourse grounds on 5th of March 2024. The Cops dominated the title favorites, CR&FC by beating them with 40 – 16 points. The Cops scored from all over the park to defeat the Red Shirts and put a full stop to their 10-match unbeaten run, producing the biggest upset of the season.

Manilka Ruberu’s boot opened the account for CR by scoring the first points of the game by putting through a successful penalty at the 3rd minute.
( CR&FC 03 – 00 POLICE )

Just after a minute past that kick the Cops wanted to get in the game too, by scoring the first try of the game by Hafiz Thabeeth at the 4th minute of the match with the support of Akash Madushanka who sweetly ran and collected ball and then the forwards who did their job perfectly.
( CR&FC 03 – 05 POLICE )

Even though the first conversion of Prince Chamara was unsuccessful, at the 8th minute, he got the chance again to prove his kicking ability was top notch by getting a penalty in favor of police just past 40 meters, where Chamara executed the kick perfectly to release the pressure from his side.
( CR&FC 03 – 08 POLICE )

The tit-for-tat affair continued yet again, by CR getting a penalty in favor of them where Ruberu didn’t fail to put through the kick to goal smoothly to increase their score of the day at the 10th minute of the first half.
( CR&FC 06 – 08 POLICE )

In the 26th minute the full back, Shane Hopewood scored the second try of the game just like the spectators hoped from him, after a bit of tight tilts in the game from both teams. The try was not converted where the 2 points should have played a crucial role at that point of the game.
( CR&FC 06 – 13 POLICE )

When a converted try was at an urgent need for the Reds, Thenuka Nanayakkara came into action just after 2 minutes from the previous try by scoring the first try for CR&FC but they fell short in converting it unfortunately.
( CR&FC 11 – 13 POLICE )

Shanaka Harischandra got the opportunity to score the third try for the Cops, as it was the first converted try of the match which was accomplished with Hopewood’s boot at the 32nd minute.
( CR&FC 11 – 20 POLICE )

Just before a minute left in the first half, the CR hooker Venura Kodagoda scored a try for the Longdon place boys, taking down the gap down as possible but, it was haunted by the unsuccessful conversion yet again even though the change of kicking for the Reds, Mursheed Zubair was in action.
( CR&FC 16 – 20 POLICE )

At the last play of the first half, the Cops opted to go for 3 points as they got a penalty in favor of them. Prince Chamara puts it through to get is team over to the safe side at the end of the first half.
( CR&FC 16 – 23 POLICE )

Police SC was able to capitalize on every opportunity they got in their way and played with less number of mistakes which were enough to get on the top of the unbeaten league champions. This situation built the confidence of the Cops and on the other side pressurized the opponents going into the second half.

Half Time: Police SC 23 (3T, 1C, 2P) – 16 (2T, 2P) CR & FC

When these two teams played each other previously, Police had the upper hand in the first half. However, CR&FC wasn’t going to let that get by them; they were determined to win the match by taking the lead back in the second half. But this time, the boys from Police Park were ready for a fight to the death battle, while the Longdon Place champions, were stunned and had no time to think about what came in there way.

Sachith Silva crossed over for a try to kick off the second half in spectacular fashion working perfectly with Hopewood just past 9 minutes of the second half. Police kicking spree continued to outshine yet again after the successful conversion by Hopewood.
( CR&FC 16 – 30 POLICE )

The left out sin bin got warmed up at the 56th minute where Sujan Koddithuwakku of Police received his first yellow card for the team. After a couple of minutes Murshid Zubair also joined Sujan the sin bin for a penalty. Police failed to put the penalty kick through.

Prince Chamara scored the second drop goal of the season with ten minutes remaining in regulation time, sealing the victory for the police.

( CR&FC 16 – 33 POLICE )

The cherry on top for Police SC was Sachith Silva’s last-minute try, which sealed their historic victory and allowed them to play in the Clifford Cup finals for the first time in nine years. Naveen Kanishka successfully converted the try.
( CR&FC 16 – 40 POLICE )

The full time whistle brought delightful smiles to the Cops and the spectators as they clinch the victory over the title favorites by beating them 40 – 16 points, where they dominated the second half by not letting the opposition score a single point. This couldn’t have done without the man of the show Prince Chamara who was the success carrier throughout the game showing this terrific skills all over the 80 minutes game.
The Cops will be eagerly waiting to see their battle that will they be facing in the Clifford Cup finals from the second semi final yet to be played between CH&FC and Havelock at the same venue on 6th of March 2024.

Full time: POLICE SC 40 (5T 3C 2P 1DG) beat CR & FC 16 (2T 2P)

Player of the Match: Prince Chamara 

Points Breakdown:

POLICE SC: Sachith Silva 2T, Thabeeth Hafiz 1T, Shane Hopewood 1T 2C, Shanaka Harischandra 1T,  Prince Chamara 2P 1DG, Naveen Kanishka 1C

CR & FC: Thenuka Nanayakkara 1T, Venura Kodagoda 1T, Manelka Ruberu 2P