Isipathana has the last laugh

By David Stephens, Pic by Ranjith Perera

In a nail-biting match which saw both teams throw everything but the kitchen sink at each other, Isipathana beat St. Anthony’s College 16-15 in an under 20 ‘A’ Division match played at a muddy Havelock Park yesterday.

Isipathana notched up one goal from fly half Prasad Devinda and three penalties from Malik Jumath in response to a goal from R.C Bandara, a penalty from captain Tharindu Chanaka and a try from Dinushan Ariyapala.

A Pathana player on the move being held back by an Antonian.

In the 37th minute, with Isipathana leading 16-15 after St. Anthony’s Ariyapala scrambled over the line to score, the match hung nicely in the balance. With only a few minutes left, the conversion by Samith Dananjaya would most certainly have clinched victory for the Antonians.

However Dananjaya’s kick fell way short and with it all chances of his team picking up a win.

The encounter had a number of scrappy moments, with players from both sides slipping across the turf or mishandling relatively easy passes. This is almost entirely the fault of a pitch that was shrouded in thick mud.

The first try came in just the seventh minute of the game after Devinda finished off a swift move to thunder over the try line. This sent the home crowd wild and Isipathana seemed brimming with confidence. However against the run of play St. Anthony’s struck back through a try from Bandara to silence the home crowd.

This seemed to shock Isipathana back into life and they proceeded to dominate the remaining portion of the first half before finally converting two penalties through the boot of Jumath. At the end of the first half the scores were 13-7 in favour of Isipathana.

The second half played out like a boxing match with both teams going at each other with several waves of attack. Coming out with new life, St Anthony’s hit back through a penalty from their captain Chanaka, to once again put the pressure back on the Greens

Isipathana replied in style with a laser guided penalty kick from Jumath that was taken quite a fair distance away from the two posts. The Antonians refused to lie down and the try by Ariyapala in the waning moments of the game served to keep the Isipathana fans on the edge of their seats right until the final whistle blew.

Referee: A.C Tennekoon

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