By Sandun Kodithuwakku
CR & FC opened their Dialog ‘A’ Division League campaign with a 21-09 victory over Air Force SC at Air Force Ground at Ratmalana, on Sunday (5)
CR scored a goal, a try and three penalties while Air Force accumulated their points putting over three penalties, Air Force led 03-06 at the breather.
On a gloomy evening it took Air Force six minutes to take the first lead of the game when centre Charith Senaviratne put over a penalty.
Air Force matched CR punch for punch right through the opening stages but a tackling infringement saw them concede a penalty in the 16th minute which centre Tharinda Ratwatte converted from 22 metres.
Two minutes after drawing level, CR were handicapped after referee Aaqil Jamaldeen sin-binned CR captain Kavindu Perera for a dangerous tackle.
Air Force failed to capitalize on the numerical advantage however managing their next points only 17 minutes later, when Senaviratne put over his second penalty.
CR were reduced to 14 men once again shortly before the whistle when Jamaldeen sin-binned CR centre and former Isipathana College captain Kushan Indunil.
Nine minutes into the second half lock forward Charana Chamikara scored the first try of the game when he crossed the white line after latching onto a pass from Kavindu de Costa. Ratwatte however missed the conversion, limiting CR’s lead to two points.
Eleven minutes later Air Force took back the lead when Senaviratne was successful with a 20-metre penalty, but soon after the game swung back in CR’s favour when Ratwatte’s penalty gave the 'Reds' a 11-09 lead.
CR consolidated that lead thereon after Air Force were penalized with a penalty try for an off-side infringement, before Ratwatte put over a late penalty.