By Rangi Akbar
Kandy SC’s bubble of invincibility was pricked by the CR&FC
at Longdon Place yesterday. CR sensing Kandy SC’s vulnerability
in the forwards kept play up front in the second session to win
by 20 points (one goal, two tries and a penalty) to 8 (a try and
was in the Caltex A Division League first round encounter played
before a mammoth crowd after Kandy SC led 8-3 at the breather. CR
managed to irk out this win after five years. Records show that
CR last won over Kandy SC when Sanath Martis, the formr Isipathana
player coached the side. Martis is now the coach of St. Peter’s
scenes of delight from CR supporters were unprecedented as they
danced in front of the pavilion after the match. Black shirted security
men formed a tight cordon around the VIP’s as Malik Samarawickrema
and Rauff Hakeem, leader of the SLMC, were spotted among the guests.
read the game correctly in the second half as they spotted a weak
link in the Kandy SC forwards and they kept the ball amongst the
‘eight’. Kandy SC was strangely curtailed by the CR
forwards who had no reply to CR forwards’ power play.
started with a lot of promise when their three-quarters functioned
well at the start. It was however Kandy SC who took the lead when
Nalaka Weerakkody put over a 35 meter penalty in the 21st minute
and for a dizzy moment Kandy SC led 3-0. Asanga Rodrigo even tried
a drop kick to level the scores for CR but the attempt was wide
off the mark. Then Dhanuska Pushpakumara put over penalty to level
the scores at 3 each for CR.
CR came under severe pressure for the next few minutes until skipper
Sanjeewa Jayasinghe scored far right. This put Kandy SC ahead 8-3
at the breather.
‘red shirts’ signalled their superiority in the second
minute on resumption when centre Haren Kaluarachchi blazed through
to score an unconverted try far left. This equalized the scores
at 8 each.
CR sounded Kandy SC’s death knell. CR’s substitute prop
forward Shamil Mohammed, using his weight to good effect, powered
his way through like an inter-city bus to score by the posts in
the seventh minute of the second half. Dhanushka Pushpakumara was
on target with his kick to put CR ahead at 15-8.
That was as far as Kandy SC’s scoring went. To rub salt into
the wound CR’s most active third row forward Ashen Karthelis,
a former S. Thomas’ skipper, scored under the posts after
a move by winger Sheriff.
SC kept on hammering at the CR defense which was stretched and pummelled
but did not break. CR is the only unbeaten team in the first round
now. Referee Dilroy Fernando kept a tight check on the game which
at times was on the brink of unwarranted play. Hemaka Amarasuriya,
Chairman of Singer Sri Lanka (Private) Ltd., was the chief guest.