Isipathana see winning post at lastView(s):
By M. Shamil Amit
Isipathana having undergone four successive defeats, saw the winning post at last when they defeated St. Joseph’s by 30 points to 21 in a fifth round match of the Singer Division 1A inter-school rugby match played at Longden Place yesterday.
After being led 18-21 at the breather Isipathana came back with vengeance in the second half. They accumulated their points through two goals, two tries and two penalties to the three goals by St. Joseph’s.
St. Joseph’s initially meant business when play began as they chalked up two quick tries in the first 15 minutes with the points coming through efforts by skipper and No 8 Jason Melder with scrum half Shamilka Kurumbalapitiya adding the extra points. The second try came from full back Akitha Hendalage who intercepted an Isipathana pass and ran over 55 metres to score under the posts. This effort gave Kurumbalapitiya an easy kick at goal.
It seemed that the Josephians whose last win against Isipathana was way back in 1986 under No 8 Nalin Perera would break the 27 year old hoodoo and they were playing like terriers and giving the Isipathana defense a torrid time.
But Isipathana came into the game with their first scoring of the game when flanker Shenal Deelaka romped pass the Josephian defense to go over for a try with centre Hirantha Perera giving the finishing touches to reduce the lead to 14-7.
Isipathana further reduced the lead thanks to two penalties booted over by Hirantha Perera to make it 14-13. It took another considerable period of time for the next scoring to be done. St. Joseph’s scored once again through skipper Melder barging his way from a five metre scrum. Kurumbalapitiya added the extra points.
But that was short-lived as Isipathana flanker Omalka Gunaratne helped to reduce deficit when he went over for an unconverted try on the left corner flag.
Isipathana got an opportunity of equaling the score just before the breather which they failed. Hirantha fluffed a kickable penalty as the Josephians held on to a 21-18 lead at the lemons.
The turn around was fought out on equal terms by the two sides but the Josephians though having the advantage lacked the finishing touches unlike the Isipathanians who played with a game plan.
The Havelock Park boys were in no hurry and the Josephians seemed to be relaxing. Isipathana took advantage of this nap to take over the lead which came off a try by winger Ujitha Prematilleke and Hirantha adding the extra points. Now Isipathana led at 25-21.
Centre Sheranga Panchama put the issue beyond doubt midway second session when he went over for a try and though the penalty was fluffed Isipathana took a commanding 30-21 lead.
When referee D. Nimal blew the long whistle a while later the scores stood the same.
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