Defending champions St. Peter’s sneak past Isipathana


Defending champions of the President’s Knock Outs St. Peter’s College had a very narrow escape against Isipathana College especially after the confusion of full time on the referee’s clock and play had to resume. However they managed to edge out the Green Machine 19 points to 14 at the Royal College Sports Complex today.

Thenuka Nanayakkara kick started the semi final game under muddy conditions and Isipathana College showed their intentions from the clean collection. However the larger and more physically dominant Peterite forwards were making life very difficult for the green machine as they had the ball turned over in favour of them which resulted in a try in the 11th minute. This time around the Isipathana defence was caught napping as quick hands made the ball go into the hands of Ishan Fernando in the right wing as he sped his way to the right corner. Thenuka Nanayakkara made no mistake with the conversion. (SPC 07 – IC 00)

Isipathana did manage to hold onto the ball for most of the first half but were not able to finish things off in style. Manilka Ruberu combined with Manula Rathnayake made some brilliant breaks but couldn’t so the finishing touches. Isipathana were occupying the opposite 22 for quite sometime until Sarindu Sihasara finally managed to barge over from the pick and go. Manilka Ruberu’s successful conversion meant that they would go into half time with and equal score line (SPC 07 – IC 07). Isipathana were in trouble when they were reduced to 14 men just before the half time whistle as Kilan Chamath was sin binned for an unnecessary tackle. 

HT – St. Peter’s College 07 (1T 1C) – Isipathana College 07 (1T 1C)

With the Peterites having the numerical advantage, they managed to score once again through a brilliant line move. Raveen Fernando made a break and was almost bundled out but managed to kick the ball just enough to bounce over the try line for Shenol Silva to do the finishing touches. The try was converted with accuracy by Thenuka Nanayakkara as they managed to get into the lead once again (SPC 14 – IC 07).

However Isipathana counter attacked through their forwards as their backline kept spilling the ball when trying to run around. This time they managed to find themselves 5m in front of the try and after being awarded a penalty, the Isipathana number 8 Dahan Nithina ran lateral to score near the right corner. The napping Peterite defence were too slow to react and a physical mismatch helped Isipathana to even out things in the mean time. Manilka Ruberu’s conversion  was successful (SPC 14 – IC 14).

The pendulum was swinging both ways as Isipathana played a very defensive game in their own 22m and the Peterites were finding it difficult to maul their way over the try line. After 3 unsuccessful attempts of using the line outs, the Peterites this time opted to pass the ball wide and they managed to score through their winger Ishan Fernando. Ishan scored his double when it was once again Raveen Fernando who assisted by looping around while Ishan did the finishing touches by diving close to the right corner flag. With the unsuccessful conversion by Thenuka, Isipathana had to score a converted try to book their place in the finals (SPC 19 – IC 14).

The clock was ticking and after a number of pick and goes, St. Peter’s opted for 3 points as a final move to seal the game away. The distance was too much for Thenuka as the ball landed into the hands of the Isipathana fullback and play continued. The ball was somehow turned over and Raveen Fernando kicked the ball out thinking it was full time. Despite the early celebrations and to the surprise of everyone, play was brought back immediately and quite horrendously it was an all important line out for Isipathana as a result of the previous kick. However they couldn’t hold onto the ball and finally referee Ishanka Abeykoon blew the long whistle. 

FT – St. Peter’s College 19 (3T 2C) – Isipathana College 14 (2T 2C)

Player of the match – Raveen Fernando 

Referee – Ishanka Abeykoon 

Scores breakdown –

St. Peter’s College
Tries- Ishan Fernando(2)and Shenol Silva
Conversions- Thenuka Nanayakkara(2)

Isipathana College
Tries – Sarindu Sihasara and Dahan Nithina
Conversions- Manilka Ruberu(2)
Yellow card-Kilan Chamath