By Harsha Amarasinghe
CR and FC number eight Omalka Gunaratne who was claimed to be unavailable for the Clifford Cup quarter-final by their management on Thursday, rose from the sickbed to boost them in the second half before Police Sports Club produced arguably their best performance this season to claim a 28 points (three tries, two conversions and three penalties) to 15 points (three tries) victory in their match played at the Racecourse Grounds in Reid Avenue today (15).
Gunaratne made a substitute appearance in the second half making an instant impact in a really good period for CR and FC.
Having trailed 5-20 at the breather, CR and FC forwards got them back to the game with a try which was eventually scored by hooker Supun Waranakulasooriya in the 44th minute and 11 minutes later they managed to score their third try with Gunaratne diving over.
However, Police held their nerves in the second half scoring from whatever the opportunity they had while putting a solid defence when CR and FC threatened to score.
Second half substitute Kasun Suranga sealed the deal for Police SC through a well worked try in the 65th minute.
Though place-kicker Janith Chandimal missed out on the conversion on that occasion had a huge influence in the game adding 13 points off his boot including three penalties.
His opposite number Tarinda Ratwatte in contrast had a day to forget. The former Trinity College Captain who had lost his starting spot to Chanaka Chandimal was sent in early when Police SC had taken a stunning 20-0 lead inside the first half an hour.
However, Ratwatte had an awful evening in which he dropped six points while his territorial kicks had very little effect.
The only battle he appeared to be winning was the verbal battle against the Police SC wing three quarter Gihan Silva who gave the Cops an electric start crossing the whitewash 10 minutes into the kick-off putting finishing touches to a fast three quarter move.
Emosi Vunivosa may not have been able to play for Policemen in the Clifford Cup, but there were glimpse of Fijian flavour in some of the offloads that they were able to deliver today (15).
Centre Vihanga Pivithuru added Police SC’s second try just before the water-break in the 20th minute but probably the try of the match was scored by CR and FC wing three quarter Reeza Raffaideen deep into the second half charging down the left flank beating defenders with lightning quick pace.
Police SC were clinical from the start. Even when CR got back to the game with a couple of tries they did not panic.
Second half substitute Rasith Silva was sent to the sin-bin in the dying moments apparently for wasting time after which the Police SC backs were heard screaming ‘disciplines, disciplines, disciplines.’
They were indeed well disciplined until the final whistle was blown, soon after that Police SC Captain Udara Sooriyapperuma ran towards a CR and FC player bringing out a gesture which probably is the Sinhala version of showing the middle finger.