By Harsha Amarasinghe
Police Sports Club produced arguably their best performance in a decade to claim a shocking 36 (5 tries, 4 conversions, 1 penalty) to 24 (3 tries, 3 conversions, 1 penalty) victory over Havelock Sports Club at Havelock Park yesterday (06).
The Cops sealed the game with a blistering first-half display as the backs from Asanga Rodrigo’s team staged a Fijian-like show, blowing away the Havies to secure a 26-03 half-time lead, and later held on to their advantage despite a decent fight-back from the home team.
The breathtaking performance was even acknowledged by their opponents as Police walked off at full-time to a guard of honour from the Havelock players, which was nothing short of sheer class from the Park Club.
Fijian centre Emosi Vunivosa, who was at the heart of Police success, got the Cops going in the 13th minute.
One simple dummy from the former Fijian Under 20 player unlocked the Havelock midfield and, with the home team already short a man after prop Charana Chamikara was shown a yellow card for a shoulder charge, there was no stopping the first try.
Full-back Suranga Kasun put the finishing touches to a stunning three quarter move in the 23rd minute, to which Havies head coach Sanath Martis reacted quickly by hauling off wing three quarter Ramesh Fernando whose missed tackles had resulted in the two tries.
Prince Chamara brought down the deficit to 03-12 with a penalty kick in the 30th minute after fly-half Peiris, who made the conversion for their first try, failed to clear his lines and was soon subbed off by head coach Rodrigo for Janith Chandimal.
However, Police produced two cracking tries in the last five minutes of the first half to take firm control of the game as wing three quarter Janith Chanaka was set up by Vunivosa in the 35th minute before 'brothers of destruction' Irosh and Sachith Silva joined hands to deliver the knockout punch deep in the first half with Sachith going under the post.
Havies who made some changes to their team at half-time came out firing after the interval as flanker Shawqat Lahir crossed the white wash in the 42nd minute, and ten minutes later prop Faiz Abdulla came off the bench to score the second.
The Park Club with their tails up, were in search of a third try and came so close in the 64th minute only for prop Zayan Sabar to knock the ball forward centimeters away from the white line.
This switched the momentum back in favour of Police who put Kasun through for a second, a game-securing try, even though Havelock wing three quarter Keshan Kavinda scored in the 80th minute.
It was a fine performance from the Police backs who specifically passed the ball fast and accurately while their forwards including Udara Sooriyapperuma must be commended for the creating turn-overs.
On the other hand this was a huge reality check for Havies.