Final minute penalty brings CH on par
CH - 13 Kandy-13
Philosophers say one should judge oneself by how
well one does under pressure. If that is the case CH & FC centre
Saliya Kumara can hold his head high. In the last minute of normal
time Kumara converted an angular 45 metre penalty. Thus enabling
CH to hold reigning champs Kandy to a 13 all draw in their ‘A’
Division Caltex rugby game played at Maitland Crescent yesterday.
Kandy scored their points off 2 tries and 1 penalty, While CH converted
two penalties and one penalty try.
|NOT SO FAST. Kandy SC’s Imran
Bisthamin (right) holds CH’s Jayantha Ranaweera by the
neck in a bid to stop him from barging through. Action from
the CH vs Kandy game which ended in a 13-13 draw at Maitland
Crescent yesterday. Pic by Dinuka Liyanawatte.
After their disappointing show against CR &
FC last week, many expected the hill country team to vanquish their
opposition. CH had other ideas. They made quite a few changes to
their pack. And it worked. They outrucked and outhooked their opponents.
Kandy has managed to win two matches with below par performances.
This week they made to pay for their complacency,
The first five minutes of the game saw a string
of turnovers. It ended with Kandy’s fullback Nalaka Weerakkody
putting over a simple penalty. Six minutes later CH were awarded
a penalty try for a high tackle on CH winger Udaya Kumara. Saliya
obliged with the conversion. The home side kept the pressure on
and it showed. Kandy flanker Dhanushka Perera was sin binned for
a dangerous tackle. With five minutes to go for Lemons Saliya Kumara
converted yet another penalty to give the home side a seven point
Kandy went up a gear in the second half. Sanjeewa
Jayasinghe touched down twice to give Kandy the lead. Weerakkody
missed both conversions and a relatively easy penalty. CH kept up
the pressure and could have scored at least twice had it not been
for bad handling. Kumara who had earlier missed two easier attempts,
made the one that counted. Weerakkody tried a Johnny Wilkinson like
drop kick in injury time, but failed miserably. Had it not been
for some butter fingered ball handling in crucial stages, the home
side may well have won this game. They were not helped by referee
Pradeep Fernando who undid his good work in the last 15 minutes.
The rub of the green was certainly not with CH. Fernando’s
two bad decisions went against CH and both were in positions where
CH could have scored.
But at the end of the day ir was at least a morale
victory for CH and gives them a good platform on which to build.