Lasintha's folly Royal's gain
Royal 8, Isipathana 5
By Shamseer Jaleel
It was a right Royal escape. Had the Isipathana place kicker Lasintha Costa brought his kicking boots along with him to Longdon Place yesterday it certainly would have been a different story. Finally the lads from Reid Avenue would have had a sigh of relief when they edged out Isipathana by 8 points (one Try, 1 Penalty) to 5 points (one Try) in their key division one 'A' league encounter yesterday.

At "Lemons" Royal led 3-0. With this win Royal increased their tally of winning the Major Milroy Fernando memorial trophy to 15 to Isipathana's 12. Six matches have ended in draws. It was a scrappy affair in the initial half where Royal relied a lot on their forwards and kept their speedy three quarters starving.

Isipathana defended very well in this half kept on attacking and were in the Royal territory for the majority of time. Isipathana though looked dangerous in their attack splitting the Royal defence on a number of occasions but failed to capitalise on most of the opportunities until the second half. Isipathana who faced an urgent revamp after their poor performances this season gave a good account of themselves though ending up at the wrong end.

Royal drew first blood in the 7th minute when Shihab Bahudeen obliged with an easy kick at goal. In the second half Royal pack leader Bimal Herath crashed through for a push over try, the conversion was missed by Bahudeen. (8-0). Isipathana place kicker Lasintha Costa would lived worst ten minutes of his life. He missed two penalty kicks at goal within kicking range within the second a drop kick at goal, that time.

The best try of the match came in the 12th minute of the second half when young Hasintha Costa ran over 40 meters to touch under the post to cut the deficit 8-5. But once again to everyone's surprise his elder brother Lasintha missed the kick at goal. Though Isipathana tried very hard in the dying stages to score they failed and ended up kicking aimlessly and running out of ideas.

Royal will have to come up with a more polished performance two weeks hence when they lock horns with an improving Trinity XV in their annual "Bradby Shield" first leg encounter on August 7, at Royal Sports Complex ground. Referee Orville Fernando In the under 17 game Royal beat Isipathana 12-7


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