Kandy Sports Club playing minus four of their regulars over came a spirited Army outfit by 19 Points (2 Goals, 1 Try) to 5 Points (1 Try) win in their first round Caltex League encounter played at Galle Face Yesterday.
At the short breather the winners led by 7-0.
Kandy were far below their champions standard. They looked a yard slower and lethargic in their approach. Even their speedy three quarters were butter fingered missing three certain tries. Kandy played minus two their star studded players namely Fazil Marija and Pradeep Liyanage. Forwards of both sides played their hearts out but it was the three quarters poor ball handling that let them down. All credit must be given to the solid Army defence which was rock solid.
|Kandy SC Hooker Achala Perera on the attack.
Kandy Fly Half Saliya Kumara missed an easy penalty in the 5th minute of the game. Five minutes later Army full back Kapila Knowlton who enjoyed an outstanding game both in defence as well in attack missed a penalty conversion.
Saliya who was off target missed his second penalty in the 24th minute of the game. It took 35 minutes for the champion Kandy outfit to draw first blood. Kandy scored next when centre Gayan Weerarate sliced through the Army defence to touch down under the posts. Saliya Kumara added the extra points.
In the second half Kapila Knowlton missed a sitter penalty in front of the post. Ten minutes later Kandy went over for a push over try by Flanker Sean Wijesinghe. Mohamed Sheriff missed the kick at goal. Army at last cut the deficit through a superb forwards work when they went over for a push over try by forward Nishantha Meepage. Kapila Knowlton was off target at kick at goal.
Kandy put the icing on the cake when their speedy three quarters ran the ball from their own 22 where the ball changed hands from Sanjeeva Jayasinghe, Mohamed Jabbar to Swarnatilake who touched down. Saliya Kumara added the extra points to take Kandy to a 19-5 win in the end.
Referee Aruna Runkothge
* Kandy will battle CH & FC in their next encounter next Saturday.