By Chris Dhambarage
Isipathana College, St. Joseph’s College and St. Anthony’s College recorded contrasting victories during last week’s Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament matches worked off on Saturday (1).
Even then St. Joseph’s success had a great amount of significance as they were able to bring down a confident St. Peter’s College Team 25-10 in a vital game played at Bambalapitiya.
The Josephiansdespite performing away from home certainly played to their potential and outplayed their traditional rivals as they also retained the Rev. Fr. Basil Wirathunga Shield for the second successive year.
This was easily one of the better performances from St. Joseph’s in the current season as they took up the challenge under tremendous pressure and went on to seal the game while collecting their points from two goals, one try and two penalties.
The manner in which St. Joseph’s have progressed in their last couple of games of the tournament is quite outstanding and now they are assured of a top three finish in the Segment 1A points table.
This has been a splendid turnaround of events for the Joes after they had conceded the opening two games of the league to the defending champions Isipathana and Royal which turned out to be very close matches.
But since then they have remained unbeaten and now they have three successive victories under their belt and looking even more dangerous with the second-round fixtures coming up shortly.
St. Anthony’s vs Dharmaraja
St. Anthony’s College kept their hopes alive of making a top-four finish in the points table when they recorded a hard fought 34-24 victory over home town rivals Dharmaraja College in another key Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament fixture worked off at the Nittawela Stadium in Kandy.
This was easily one of the greatest comebacks in the current season as the Antoniansgave a fine display of their talent and potential to turn a certain defeat into a memorable triumph.
The manner in which the Antonians went about their task was really outstanding and they always believed in themselves which was the prime reason for their success in this game.
In fact, they were trailing by a couple of points going into the last ten of minutes of play and the pressure was mounting on them with Dharmaraja holding on determinedly.
However, in a dramatic turn of events St. Anthony’s managed to score twice during the latter stages of the game and with that they were able to snatch a fascinating victory from the jaws of defeat.
The most significant fact about the Antonians’ performance was that they always kept trying despite trailing and eventually they were rewarded for their hard work with a morale boosting victory.
Isipathana vs D. S. Senanayake
Isipathana College completed their first-round fixtures with a rousing 69-13 victory over D. S. Senanayake College in their Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match worked off at Welisara.
The defending champions made certain that they would finish on top of the points table with another ruthless performance as they ran down as many as 11 tries with a fine display of power rugby.
Isipathana of course sealed the game in their favour even before half time and they did not mind providing the opportunity for the less experienced players to showcase their talent during the second half.