Anti climax atthe park as havies return to glory days
Havelock SC upended table-toppers Navy SC following a scintillating second-half performance coming from behind to win 22-20 in their Dialog Rugby league ‘A’ Division game played at Havelock Park yesterday.
Navy held a 20-point lead at the break having not conceded a point.
But despite a sizeable deficit against one of the tournament favourites, the spirited Havies didn’t throw in the towel, as they scored 22 unanswered points in the second period to pip the Sailors at the post.
The home team opened scoring in the second half in the 45th minute, when Sandun Herath crossed the Navy line before Mohammed Sheriff, who was having a horrible day with the boot, scored his team’s second try nine minutes later – both scored going unconverted with the score reading 20-10.
While at one end the attack was squandering opportunities, the defence was proving stiff at the other, as the hosts kept their opponents at bay. The Havies were rewarded for their hard work in the 71st minute, when Dushmantha Priyadarshana brought the game to within a single try.
With the Park club piling on the pressure, Navy SC were found short-handed when Sumedha Malawana was directed to sin-bin, giving the Havies an advantage which they duly cashed in on, as Lee Keegal made the decisive touch down against the run of play – which was converted – giving the hosts their sixth win in as many games.
Earlier, after an exciting opening period of play Navy SC scored the first points – following two squandered penalties by the Havies – in the 13th minute when Ratu Taniela beat the home defense, with fly-half Dev Anand adding the two extra points.
Anand extended the lead to 10 points, in the 21st minute, when he was successful with a drop-goal attempt.
The relentless Navy SC kept up the pressure and were further rewarded when their star expatriate Stefano Cokanivalu scored his team’s second try before Taniela rounded up his team’s first half haul with a penalty.
Havelock will face Kandy SC this week, at Nittawela, in a game that will likely decide the fate of the top three teams, heading into the second round of the league competition.
By Shehan Daniel