By M. Shamil Amit
Isipathana College survived few anxious moments before they managed to overcome Wesley College by 22 points to 17 points in a thrilling Under-19 Inter-Schools ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament encounter played at Longden Place on Friday.
For Wesley, it was so close but yet so far as they were unfortunate to end up in the losing side as their try scored under the post during the dying moments of the game was disallowed by the Referee.
Even then, Isipathana were well placed at half time having taken a comfortable 22-0 lead with their points coming through two goals a try and a penalty.
But they were unable to add any points in the second half with Wesley dominating this period scoring 17 points off two goals and a penalty.
Isipathana opened scoring in the 15th minute with scrum half Chamath Kalhara going over for a try and fly half Anjana Kulasekera added the extra points.
They further increased the lead six minutes later with Chamath going over for his second try of the match and with the conversion fluffed they led 12-0 at that stage.
Eleven minutes later, Isipathana increased their lead to 15-0 with Anjana firing across a penalty.
Isipathana continued to add pressure on their opponents and they succeeded in scoring another try with full back Ashen Gunasekera going over for a try.
Anjana made no mistake with the conversion and Pathana led 22-0 at half time.
After the resumption, the Wesleyites played with a different game plan and had Isipathana struggling for survival.
Wesley playing with more cohesion shocked their opponents in the third minute when winger Theekshan Vithanage barged his way for a try and the kick at goal by full back Mursheed Zubair was on the spot.
Full back Mursheed Zubair sent the Wesley supporters wild with a peach of a try which he himself converted to bring his side closer to their opponents’ score.
The Wesleyites continued their relentless attack and succeeded in forcing a penalty six minutes away from the long whistle which Mursheed Zubair converted with ease.
In a do-or-die last minutes battle the Wesleyites succeeded in forcing a series of line-outs and scrums close to the Isipathana touchline.
A high kick by a Wesley player saw the two teams contesting for the ball and Wesley succeeded in going over the Isipathana line.
But their try was unfortunately disallowed and Isipathana held on to scrape through for a lucky win.
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