A physical encounter which swung from side-to-side at the Park, ended in favour of the in-form Josephians, as they end the 2018 Singer Schools’ Rugby League with a 34 – 29 win over Isipathana College, cementing second place on the points table.
On a sunny evening at Havelock Park, Isipathana College kicked off the final League game of the 2018 season against St. Joseph’s College.
Tharindu Maduranga was forced to sit out due to a suspension as Dulanjana Piyathissa was reinstated to the starting XV while Isipathana made three changes to their run on fifteen.
The game kicked off and first points did not take too long as Santhush Algama and Manilka Ruberu traded penalties within the first 5 minutes of the game. Algama added his second of the game from under the posts as Isipathana was penalized, restoring the Josephian lead. (IC 03-06 SJC)
It was Isipathana though who scored the first try through Kasun Kaushalya as the lock forward made his way over the white-wash. Ruberu added the extras from close range, catching the Josephians napping.
Two converted tries in quick succession through Gemunu Chethiya and Keshan Kavinda rocked back the Pathana lads, as the lead changed hands once again, leaving Pathana in their tracks.
Gemunu made a trade mark break off a well worked ball, diving over in the far corner. The fullback was the assister for the second as Kavinda found himself at the end of a hip kick, collecting and diving under the sticks. (IC 10-20 SJC)
The Josephian defence switched off for a moment following the try, paying the penalty as a flat cut out pass from fly half Renuja De Silva found outside centre Manula Rathnayake to score untouched. Ruberu converted, cutting the deficit to three as the teams headed in the sheds for half time.
Half-Time: Isipathana College 17 (2T 2C 1P) trail St. Joseph’s College 20 (2T 2C 2P)
Dulanjana Piyathissa scored off first phase ball from a scrum, minutes into the second half as the lads from Maradana extended their lead. Santhush made no mistake as he kept his 100% record off the boot in tact in the game, leaving the Isipathana lads with plenty to ponder. (IC 17-27 SJC)
Even though St. Joseph’s College had a 10 point lead, they were living on the edge as the Isipathana lads were not going to die wondering.
This never-say-die attitude mean the home team managed to cross the white-wash twice in quick succession as the visiting faithful were stunned into silence.
Janith Serasinghe touched down as the hosts caught out the Josephians and minutes later when Rathnayake scored a converted try for the Green-machine, the game turned on its head once again. (IC 29-27 SJC)
Man of the match, Gemini Chethiya set up Keshan Kavinda for his second as the winger brought on the Razzle-Dazzle, stepping inside the final Pathana defender, leaving him for dead, scoring under the posts.
Algama continued his stellar performance off the tee, converting and taking the Josephians into a 5 point lead with 7 minutes left reaming on the clock and Isipathana in touching distance. (IC 29-34 SJC)
Isipathana pushed hard but the Josephian defence held firm in similar fashion to last week, as the Josephians beat Isipathana College to wrap up the 2018 season with a win and cementing second position.
Full-Time: Isipathana College 29 (4T 3C 1P) lose to St. Joseph’s College 34 (4T 4C 2P)
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Gemunu Chethiya (SJC Centre)
Isipathana College – Kasun Kaushlya 1T, Manula Rathnayake 2T, Manilka Ruberu 2C 1P, Janith Serasinghe 1T, Janiru Senevirathne 1C
St. Joseph’s College – Gemunu Chethiya 1T, Keshan Kavinda 2T, Dulanjana Piyatihissa 1T, Santhush Algama 4C 2P