By Chris Dhambarage
Isipathana College kept their reputation as a true champion team when they brought down a fighting St. Joseph’s College outfit 39-32 in an exciting Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match played at Longden Place.
The reigning ‘A’ Division champions came under tremendous pressure but they exhibited their wonderful rugby skills and character to seal a memorable victory in one of the most fascinating schools rugby matches played this season.
After a scrappy opening fixture against Dharmaraja College last week, Isipathana really proved they mean business as they collected their points from two goals and five tries after leading 17-15 at half time.
Even then, this was another missed opportunity for St. Joseph’s as they came close to pulling off a historic victory before falling short as they responded with three goals, one try and two penalties.
In fact, the Josephians believed they had the game in their custody when they dished out some power rugby to touch down twice shortly after the interval and to build up a vital 29-17 lead at that stage.
But this Isipathana team was not prepared to surrender the gamer to their opponents as they fought back magnificently during the later stages to turn the game in their favour.
Dynamic winger N. Chaminda had the distinction of scoring three tries but full back Chamod Fernando was simply outstanding and his two tries came at crucial stages of the game.
Chatura Seneviratne had an excellent game for St. Joseph’s scoring a try in addition to converting three tries and also fired across two neat penalties.
St. Peter’s vs Royal
Royal College continued their dominance over St. Peter’s College as they pulled off a hard fought 17-10 victory in their Inter-Schools Under-20 Rugby Tournament match played at Bambalapitiya.
The winners also had the satisfaction of retaining the B. C. Anghie Trophy for the fourth successive year while collecting their points from one goal and two tries with all their scoring coming in the first half.
The Peterites of course came back strongly in the second half while scoring their solitary try but were deprived of victory due to some solid cover defence from their opponents.
In fact, this was a match where Royal won largely because of some clever defensive work as they spoiled a series of threatening five-metre scrums and three quarter moves during a tense last few minutes of the game.
The Royal forwards of course did the early damage by scoring three classic tries to build up a psychological advantage and they managed to hold on to the lead until the final whistle.
Zahiravs S. Thomas’
Zahira College came close to creating another major upset as they went down fighting 24-29 against S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia in their Singer Schools Under-20 ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament match worked off at Maradana.
The newcomers to top division rugby who had toppled Science College Mount Lavinia in their opening fixture of the tournament last week produced another breathtaking performance before going down following a close contest.
In fact, the Thomians could consider themselves fortunate to pull off this game as they survived many anxious moments during the latter stages having collected their points from two goals and three tries.
Zahira were trailing 12-22 at half time but they really came back into the game in the second half with a powerful performance and responded with two goals and two tries.
Science College vs Trinity
Trinity College powered their way to a comprehensive 52-7 victory over Science College Mount Lavinia in their Singer Schools Under-20 ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament fxture worked off at Havelock Park.
The Trinitians successfully managed to cross the 50-point mark for the second successive week as they dominated the proceedings while collecting their points from seven goals and one penalty.
Science College who were trailing 0-17 at half time will be disappointed with their second straight defeat in the tournament as they managed to score only a solitary goal.
St. Anthony’s vs D. S. Senanayake
St. Anthony’s College produced a fine performance to outplay D. S. Senanayake College 54-25 in their Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match worked off at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy.
The Antonians after conceding an early try to their opponents recovered magnificently and went on to dictate terms as they collected their points from seven goals and one try having led 26-11 at half time.
D. S. Senanayake of course showed early promise and threatened to dominate the proceedings but they were lacking in consistency and managed to score only two goals, one try and two penalties.
Wesley vs Prince of Wales
An under-strength Wesley College team managed to pull off a morale boosting 28-10 victory over Prince of Wales in their Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match played at Longden Place.
The Wesleyites will be quite pleased with their effort as some of their key players were not available for this game due a ban imposed by the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association following last week’s fixture against Trinity College.
But still they were able to get their act together well and went on to complete a comprehensive victory while collecting their points from one goal, three tries and two penalties.
The Cambrians of course made a determined effort to push their more fancied opponents but lacked the finishing touches as they responded with just one goal and one penalty.