Unbeaten Kandy overpower Havies

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League champions Kandy Sports Club played an all round game against Havelock Sports Club to win the game 22-12, keeping their unbeaten tag at the end of round 1. The match was played under lights at Havelock Grounds and proved to be a thriller to all fans, with Kandy leading 12 points to 5 at half time. 

Sandesh Jayawickrama kick started the all-important clash to the top two teams, with Kandy making some beautiful passes in the very first minute, showing why they are the favourites of the league, which ended in the hands of Buddhima Piyaratne who scored under the posts. Buwaneka Udangamuwa made the initial break and passed it to Nigel Ratwatte, then to Jason Dissanayake, who made the inside pass to Piyaratne. Though thing were as easy as they could get, Tharinda Ratwatte made a hiccup of a conversion which went under the posts. (5-0)

Kandy stuck to their usual plan of dominating right from the star and kept possession at all times, and a scrum down close to the try line saw the heavyweight Kandy pack rolling over the try line from the scrum. Uddangamuwa, who kept the ball under his feet, scored the try. Ratwatte amended his first mistake with a successful conversion this time around. (12-0)

It almost seemed as if Kandy were docile after the initial lead and were running out of options when the Havies forwards did their pick and go. They played very patiently, trying to tire out the Kandy forwards but surprisingly couldn’t score any try because of errors in the break. However, a terrible misspass from Kandy saw Keshan Kavinda pounce on the loose ball and score under the posts from round the corner. Prince Chamara failed to add the extras. (12-05)

Havies were trying to work their way after the initial try, but only had themselves to blame when they lost possession due to Kandy turning over the ball close to the try line. However a penalty in favour of Havies gave them a chance to close the deficit, but Prince Chamara’s kick for 3 points went astray. 

Half time – Kandy 12 (2T 1C) – Havelocks 05 (1T)

Soon after the start of the second half, Kandy were awarded a penalty and had no hesitation to point at the goal posts. Ratwatte extended their lead to 10 points. (15-05)

The Havelocks being a relatively younger side, tried their best to counter the more experienced Kandy outfit but couldn’t hold on to the ball on most occasions. The line outs were not going in favour despite being one of their strong points, and Kandy added more salt into the home team’s wounds when Kavindu Perera cut his way to score a try near the right flag. Ratwatte made a brilliant kick from the difficult angle. (22-05)

Naveen Henakankanamage and Randy Silva did not disappoint the home crowd as they made a lot of yards on most occasions, but knocked the ball on a few occasions. Things were not going too well until Mithun Hapugoda decided to come off the bench and sparked some magic. The Havies had their chances, but then Srinath Sooriyabandara also came off the bench to challenge his opposite number. It was only in the 63rd minute after passing penalty after penalty, did the Havelocks score their second try through Shawket Lahir. Sandesh Jayawickrama added the valuable extras. (22-12)

Despite the number of ample opportunities, the Havelocks were unable to capitalize on them as Buwaneka Udangamuwa who had a fantastic game for the day, made sure that no-one got past him, and a final turnover meant that he secured a well-deserved win as referee Jamaldeen blew the long whistle. Kandy had a very close and tiring game against the Havelocks in the epic clash and will be looking to continue their unbeaten run in the second round. 

  • Player of the match – Buwaneka Udangamuwa 
  • Referee – Aaquil Jamaldeen

Full time – Kandy 22 (3T 2C 1P) – Havelocks 12 (2T 1C)

Kandy

Tries – Buddhima Piyaratne, Buwaneka Udangamuwa, Kavindu Perera

Conversions and Penalties – Tharinda Ratwatte (2C 1P)

Havelocks

Tries – Keshan Kavinda, Shawket Lahir

Conversions – Sandesh Jayawickrama