By Amindha de Alwis
Navy SC managed a sensational comeback in the closing moments of the game to record a 35 points (five tries, five conversions) to 34 (five tries, three conversions, one penalty) victory over Army SC in their Dialog Inter-Club League rugby matchup at Welisara on Friday (10).
Army SC were the dominant side for most of the game and were sitting pretty with a lead of 34 points to 21 before two late tries by Navy SC turned the tide dramatically.
It was in sharp contrast to how the game begun, when Army opened up with three tries within the first 12 minutes and were all over the hosts. Tomasi Caqusau, Ashan Bandara and Lahiru Rathnayake registered tries to hand Army an early 19-0 lead.
Navy fought back with tries by Radeesha Seneviratne and Sachinka Abeysekara to reduce the deficit to 19-14 at half-time.
Chathura Seneviratne then made an excellent run, dodging a host of defenders to go across the line and put his side narrowly in the lead but Army inched ahead a while later when they were awarded a penalty try by the referee.
Army’s Thusitha Senanayake followed it up by making a smart collection off a rebound from the posts after a failed attempt at a drop-goal to put the visitors further in the lead.
This was followed by a penalty for Army who extended their lead at the time to 34-21.
It appeared that Army had done enough to stave off the hosts but Navy had enough left in the tank to force two late tries courtesy Adeesha Weeratunge and Thilina Weerasinghe.
Isuru Kongahawatte then added the finishing touches; making the conversion –his fifth for the day- and sending the hosts into frenzied celebrations.