By M. Shamil Amit
S. Thomas’ College regained the Lady Jayatileke Shield when they edged-out St. Joseph’s College 24-22 in a thrilling Dialog Inter-Schools Under-19 Rugby Tournament fixture worked off at Longden Place on Wednesday (11).
The Thomians having led 12-10 at the breather accumulated their points through two goals and two tries while the Josephians responded with a goal and three tries.
Second row forward Diresh David was the match winner for S. Thomas’ as he scored a crucial try just three minutes from the final whistle when they were trailing 17-22 at that stage.
Earlier, in the first half, winger Cheka Jayawardena opened scoring for the Josephians in the sixth minute while the Thomians responded with a try five minutes later through centre Revan Tissera.
However, the Josephians went into the lead with winger Ruchira Ekanayake going over for an unconverted try in the 17th minute.
But scrum half Sakith Perera went over for a try and Jaan de Zoysa added the extra points as the Thomians took a slender two point lead at the breather.
After the resumption, the Josephians scored again in the 11th minute through Skipper Rashane Gunawardena.
Mohamed Riffan made no mistake with the conversion and the team from Darley Road took a 17-12 lead at that stage.
But their lead was short-lived as the Thomians struck back six minutes later through an unconverted try scored by Jaan de Zoysa.
The Thomians also threw away an opportunity of surging ahead when Jaan de Zoysa fumbled with an easy penalty.
The Josephians then succeeded in breaching the Thomian defence with Mohamed Riffan barging his away for a try.
The missed conversion proved to be crucial as St. Joseph’s eventually went on to lose the game by a two-point margin.
In contrast, Sakith Perera was on target with the conversion after Diresh David had planted the fourth try for S. Thomas’ shortly before the final whistle.
Referee: Ishanka Abeykoon.