By Sandun Kodithuwakku
Number eight Omalka Gunaratne scored a last-minute try to hand CR and FC their fourth victory in the Dialog Inter-Club ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament as they defeated Air Force Sports Club by 36 points (four goals, one try and one penalty) to 27 points (three goals and two penalties) in their first-round encounter played at Longden Place today (14).
The winners held on to a slender 24-17 lead at half time.
Air Force SC drew first blood as full back Gayantha Iddamalgoda fired across an easy penalty to give his side the early lead (3-0).
Nine minutes into the first half, CR and FC hooker Hirantha Manamendra crashed through for a cracking try off a rolling maul when he barged over mid-right.
CR and FC fly half Tarinda Ratwatte converted the try to make it 7-3.
Three minute later, CR and FC extended their lead when prop forward Charana Chamikara dived over for a try near the right corner flag. Ratwatte made the conversion for CR and FC to lead 14-3.
Thereafter, CR and FC second rower Panduka Angammana made a break and ran round to score his first try. Ratwatte added the extra points to make it 21-3.
In the 25th minute, Ratwatte put over a 22 metre penalty to make it 24-3.
Ten minutes later, Air Force SC scored their first try through second rower Thilina Bandara who touched down mid-left.
The conversion was made by Iddamalgoda (10-24).
In the last minute of the first half, Air Force SC fly half Iddamalgoda fended off his opposite number Joel Perera to score a try mid-right.
Iddamalgoda also made the conversion to make it 17-24 at half time.
Five minutes after the second half, CR and FC extended the lead when wing three quarter Randitha Warnapura dived over for a try near the left corner flag. Ratwatte made the conversion for CR to lead 31-17.
Ten minutes later, Air Force SC scored their third try through centre Jero Dananjaya who touched down near the right corner flag.
The conversion was made by Charith Seneviratne (24-31).
Seneviratne put over a 22 metre penalty almost immediately as the Airmen reduced the deficit to four points (27-31).
However, number eight Gunaratne scored a last minute try to seal an exciting victory for CR and FC.