By Harsha Amarasinghe
Their thrilling 27-24 victory over the CH and FC on Saturday (30) at Welisara meant everything for Navy Sports Club especially having lost to the same opponents in their first-round meeting.
The Maitland Crescent Club were running away with the game having secured an early lead of 17-3 at one stage.
But the Navy SC forwards put up such a fighting display with prop forwards Kasun de Silva and Stephan Gregory as well as second row Lahiru Vishwajith all crossing the white-line.
This left them tied on 24 points going into the last few minutes of play but the home team were awarded a penalty in the very last minute of the game.
Full back Thilina Weerasinghe kept his calmness before slotting in the match-winning penalty.
These two teams have been at it from the first-round match and there is a history between them with nine former Navy SC players joining CH and FC at the end of last season.
Perhaps, that is what made it so personal that Navy SC Captain Dhanushka Perera went on to post a photograph of himself celebrating the winning moment on social media with a caption ‘Payback.’
Havelocks SC are not having a great season having already lost twice but their season could have got even worse if Air Force SC had held on to their lead at Ratmalana on Friday (29).
The Havies were quick to stamp their authority with two quick tries early on through fly half Dulaj Perera and scrum half Sudam Parinda but Air Force SC played some lovely rugby to lead 18-17.
However, the Park Club showed the quality especially in their backline, eventually winning 34-18.
Kandy too hot
Police SC may have taken a 3-0 lead initially, but they would want to forget what happened since then in their match against Kandy SC at the Nittawela Stadium on Saturday (30).
The Cops were hit for 61 points by Kandy SC in a completely one-sided game and there was very few that they could do to stop that deadly back-line.
Wing three quarter Anurudda Wilwara was once again among the tries as the former S. Thomas’ College speedster bagged a brace while centre Danushka Ranjan on his return from an ankle injury also touched down once.
However, it was their full-back Nigel Ratwatte who turned out to be the most influential player as he racked up 24 points through seven conversions and two tries.
Omalka on fire
CR and FC were under pressure from the start despite an early penalty from Tarinda Ratwatte as Army SC were executing their plans brilliantly in their match played at Havelock Park on Friday (29).
But a red-card for their scrum-half Mohamed Rizvi meant they were left with 14 men for one hour.
However, it takes nothing away from the CR and FC number eight Omalka Gunarathne who gave his absolutely everything on the field.
He was heard swearing in the middle of the Havelock Park, possibly to make himself pumped-up.
Though it left the Army SC fans laughing, the Sri Lanka forward was on fire for 80 minutes and is clearly one of the main reasons why the CR and FC won 24-17.
Army SC could have been disappointed with the result, and few mistakes they committed in ball handling. However, they can be proud of their performance overall.