try saves St.Peter’s
St. Peter's 18 , St. Joseph's
By Mahangu Weerasinghe
A last minute burst of grit by Peterite Mohamed Rizni saved the
game for St. Peter's yesterday as they equalized the score to hold
on to a draw. The traditional rivals faced off yesterday at the
Royal College Sports Complex Grounds to vie for the Basille Weeratunge
Memorial Trophy. The Battle of the Saints was far from saintly however
with both the Under 17 and First XV match ups being marred by fighting
on the field. The seniors' match however was better off, with referee
Shamrath Fernando being firmer about discipline on the field.
Peterite's opened the scoring with a try, and held on to the five
point lead for quite some time. The Joes who were initially plagued
with minor mistakes, later overcame their anxiety to reply with
a try courtesy of Oshada Weerasekara. The conversion was good and
the St. Joseph's secured a lead of two. The remainder of the half
saw the ball being bunted up and down the field and the half drew
to a close with the Joes hanging on to their unsteady lead.
second half opened, and the Peterite's came right back with a penalty
by Mohamed Shareef. Although the Josephian forwards fought hard
to hold up their crumbling line, several blunders on the part of
their colleagues cost them a handful of scoring opportunities. Their
breakthrough eventually came courtesy of a penalty kicked over by
Dinuka Rajapakse. Leading by two points, the Joes capitalized on
Peterite anxiety by scoring another try and a drop goal. This opened
up a gap of ten between the two rivals.
the clock ticking, St. Peter's began to feel the heat, and despite
continuous efforts were held back by the Josephians. With the second
half well advanced, a Josephian victory seemed almost imminent.
The Peterite's however thought differently. The boys regrouped and
played good, positive rugby - even though the odds were stacked
heavily against them. The Josephian's on the other hand seemed to
relax a little, and this resting on laurels cost them dearly when
the Peterite's broke through their weakening line to run down a
try. The wide angle conversion however was not completed and St.
Peter's still trailed by five.
as dusk fell and the clock ticked on towards full time, the schoolboys
from Bambalapitiya made one last charge - a charge that went well
for them. The Josephians defended in vain as St. Peter's advanced
slowly and steadily to finally break opposition ranks courtesy of
Mohamed Rizni. This last run down the line extinguished hopes of
a Josephian victory, and while not recording a win, the Peterite's
may at least be satisfied by their positive attitude towards the
game. Thus, mistakes on the part of the Joes, and a never-say-die
attitude on the part of the Peterite's brought the Battle of the
Saints to a thrilling draw. The Under 11 game too ended in a draw
with both the Under 13 and Under 15 events being won by St. Peter's.
The Under 17 event was won by the Josephians who outdid their counterparts
15 - 5 to win the Rowan Goonesekara Memorial Trophy.