The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Trinity in line to clinch Singer league title

Under 20 Schools Rugby Review

The supporters of defending champions of the Singer Under 20 Division 1A category Royal was again a dejected lot as they were disappointed for the second time when their side was beaten by Isipathana convincingly by 34- points to 22 in the match played at Longden Place.

This was also the final assignment of the league tournament for both sides and it was expected to be a blockbuster with Isipathana coming with their heads high after their win against St Peter’s the previous week and Royal coming into the game to redeem their lost prestige after their defeat to Trinity.

But whatever the outcome the massive crowd that had thronged to witness the game were given their money’s worth. The first half turned out to be even with both the teams sharing honours with no quarters asked or given.In the ding dong battle which took place Royal managed to stay in front when the sides changed by holding on to a slender two points lead (17-15). The Isipathanians was lacking the form of the game that they played against St Peter’s as even after resumption the Royalists had almost things under control.
But Royal failed to keep up the momentum as they fumbled when it needed the most. After leading on 22-15 for most part in the second half they were in tatters and had to blame themselves.

Isipathana on the other hand most probably kept their resources to salvage a late burst in the latter stages which they did it successfully. Center Hirantha Perera was their hero in this session after wing three Uditha Prematileke did most of the damage in the first half by posting all the three tries they scored.Hirantha had the Royal defenders in tatters when he sprinted over 70 metres for a peach of a try, which motivated the side to make further strides.

It was Hirantha again who almost hit the nail in the coffin of their opponents with another try which followed it up with second center Kovinda Wimalachandra going over for a last minute try which sealed the game for the Isipathanians.So in a matter of just over ten minutes the Isipathanians with their late burst became too much for the Royalists to handle which also saw them surrender the Major Milroy Fernando memorial trophy to their opponents.

The penultimate matches of the tournament played last week turned out to be a decisive one with defending champions Royal the only unbeaten team of the tournament meeting their waterloo at the hands of traditional rivals Trinity that has put them almost out of contention for the title.

Trinity on the other hand could be said that they had reserved their resources for the big match which they won with a comfortable 34-11 victory. This also being the first leg of their traditional Bradby Shield the Lions with a lead of 23 points has put themselves in a strong position of retaining the Shield for yet another year.

Another match that had much interest was the game between Isipathana and St Peter’s which was expected to be a close tussle but it never turned out to be as the Havelock Park coasted to a convincing 46-20 win at Longden Place.In the other matches that were played Science College Mt Lavinia had to work hard in their match against St Joseph’s with a close 32-31 win while in the matches played in the hill capital saw Kingswood crush the hapless DSS 52-14 and Vidyartha overcoming hometown rivals St Anthony’s 32-13.

The win for Trinity has also put them in line of clinching the league of which if they succeed will be laying their hands after a lapse of more than over two decades. The last time they won a major title was way back in 1987.The match at the Royal Sports Complex saw the Lions coming into the game well prepared against what looked a disjointed Royal outfit. But credit cannot be taken away from the Lions who played their hearts out and in the process rattling their opponents.Though the Trinitians held to a slender 13-8 at the breather they opened up the floodgates in the second half when they went on a scoring spree by posting three tries within a space of ten minutes which ensured them a comfortable victory.

The match between Isipathana and St Peter’s did not materialize the way the latter wanted as they were completely outplayed in all the departments by a rejuvenated and determined Isipathana side.Everything worked to plan for the Havelock Park boys as they scored at will to take a convincing 24-10 lead during the break and then went on add a further 22 points to come out easy winners.

Action at the Isipatana-Royal game on Friday. - Pic by Ranjith Perera

The Peterites were no where near their form during the early part of the season while the Isipathanians after their defeat improved in leaps and bounds as the season went by.Science College underwent some anxious moments before pulling off a one point win over the unlucky St Joseph’s side. The other two matches were decisive for Kingswood, DSS and St Anthony’s as two of them were definitely on the demotion list.But Kingswood cleared the hurdle with a fine 52-14 win over the hapless DSS side who will now be demoted along with St Anthony’s who were beaten by hometown rivals Vidyartha.

Meanwhile the Division 1B league title has been left out to be fought between Dharmaraja and Wesley who both after the completion of the eighth round matches remained the only unbeaten sides.The two teams secured their eighth successive wins with Dharmaraja coasting to an easy 43-16 win over Thurstan while Wesley inflicted the second defeat of S. Thomas’s by overcoming them 17-10.
The deciding match between Dharmaraja and Wesley was due to be played on Friday and by the time this is being read the outcome of the match would be known as who is the champion while S. Thomas’ will have to contest in the same division for yet another year.

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