CH valour steal the limelight
By Bernie Wijesekera
After their last week's miserable performance against the Havelocks, CH&FC gave a fine exhibition of hard open rugby to topple the high-riding CR&FC by 10 points (2 tries) to 3 points (a penalty) in a rousing Caltex League A Division second round match at Maitland Crescent last evening. CH led 10-nil at lemons.

What a game it was. No quarter given and none asked. The red shirts who were favoured to win this game and a strong contender for the title along with defending champions Kandy SC, but CH showing better rugby skills in abundance and had the stamina to last the pace, had CR running for shelter.

It was no let up in this bruising battle between two tough sets of forwards at times marred by temper tantrums. There was more going for the man than the ball. In the process players from either side were shown the yellow card.

CH in the last 15 minutes of the game was playing with 13 players - one foreigner was shown the yellow card while the other foreign player was shown the red card. But with a never-say-die approach, the Crescent Club with an unstinted team effort held on grimly.

Dushantha Lewke proved to be a utility player and helped CH dominate the long throws. On this day CH could have beaten any side. As for the CR they were badly let down by the back division. Their handling spilled their chances in the second half. Centre Haren Kaluarachchi despite badly shaken stood against the onslaught but the others in the line were found wanting. This was not a day for CR. Everything went against them. They flattered and fell to a side that really deserved to win.

CH could have won by a bigger margin, but their spot kicks were found wanting where Tharanga Jayakody and Dinesh Kumara lacked direction, two of them in front of the cross bar.

CH scored their first try off a short tap in front where the ball changed hands beautifully for fly-half Tharanga Jayakody to run over for an unconverted try. The second try came in the 22nd minute when the entire pack powered their way for prop forward Jayantha Ranaweera to roll over. After the turn around CR attacked furiously through their granite hard set of forwards. They had the line staring on two occasions but the back line failed - made to look slow motion.

Finally CR scored their solitary three points through full back Pushpakumara. It was a bruising battle followed by a spate of injuries to both sides. Referee Anura Jayasekera had his hands full to control the game.

'Siva' honoured
Former Police SC rugby captain S. Sivendran, who led the side in 1963 and later led them to emerge B Division champions in 1967, did proud for their rugby.

In the same year for the first time in Sri Lanka rugby history the Cops were invited to play in the Clifford Cup A Division knock-out championship.

Siva, a man for all seasons, led them with distinction. The blue shirted team defeated CR&FC in the semi-finals and lost the final to Havelocks. Since then they have been in the forefront in Sri Lankan rugby. Sivendran served Police rugby in varius capacities and finally he ended up as the Director of Sports, before he retired after serving for 40 years.


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