By Harsha Amarasinghe
Havelock Sports Club’s title charge was given a huge boost with the Park Club closing the gap at the top of the points table of the Dialog Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament down to just three points after beating Navy Sports Club by 31 points (five tries and three conversions) to 20 points (two tries, two conversions and two penalties) at Welisara yesterday (13).
With Kandy SC crumbling at home to Army SC on Saturday, it was the perfect opportunity for the Havies to narrow the gap at the top and they responded quite brilliantly by punishing a Navy SC side that played like schoolboys on certain occasions.
The Sailors recovered from a 10-24 half time deficit to get themselves into the game courtesy of a penalty from Captain Thilina Weerasinghe and a 46th minute try from prop forward Kasun de Silva to leave it 20-24 going into the last 30 minutes.
However, the Havies stuck to their plan with a lot of patience putting Navy SC under enormous pressure through their forwards and eventually sending number eight Lasindu Ishan over the line on the back of a scrum in the 55th minute.
The game however, was decided in the first half when the Havies crossed the whitewash on four occasions with tries coming from flanker Sithum Peiris, full back Riza Mubarak, hooker Azmir Fajudeen and scrum half Mithun Hapugoda and in reply Navy SC had just one try scored by prop forward Charith Silva.
Mubarak who was charged down by Navy SC wing three quarter Buddhima Piyarathne when taking the conversion for the first try made amends later on in the game slotting in three vital conversions to wrap-up what was a very good performance.
The Sailors had their chances especially in the last 10 minutes of the game, but Weerasinghe’s side failed to capitalise on their chances.
Most notably, second row Ravin de Silva and number eight Radeesha Seneviratne made a few handling errors while they failed to get their backs in to the game for most part of the game.
Navy SC had a golden opportunity to sneak into the top four had they won the game as CR and FC continues to struggle in the second round, but this defeat meant that they remain at fifth.