Air Force struggles with lack of foreigners


The curtain raiser for the Maitland crescent lads for the Dialog Rugby League 2014 took place today vs. Air Force SC. Air Force with the hope to bounce back into the season set foot on the lawn after the loss they suffered to Kandy SC in the earlier encounter.

Diminishing the hopes of the Airmen CH&FC lads etched their maiden victory for the season when the scoreboard read 30-15 at full time.

Outside half Gayantha Iddamalgoda started off proceedings at the picturesque Air Force grounds sharp at 4.00pm.

Piyum Jayasinghe gained territory after collecting the high ball when he accelerated like the wind but the defense pinned him down. Gaining the turn over ball over ball, the  Air force SC built up possession and worked out the line which created the lapses in defense and center Charith Seneviratene taking the upper hand from it touched down under the post to draw first blood of the game inside the second minute. Gayantha Iddamalgoda bisecting the uprights bought full value to the try. (CH&FC – 00 SLAF – 07)

Visitors could not convert the penalty awarded to them in the sixteenth minute as the ball clouted  the uprights. Nevertheless, CH&FC lads started troubling the scorers in the twentieth minute when Piyum Jayasinghe scored the first try for his outfit in the far left corner. Rimze Jamaldeen failing to gain the extra points averted them equalizing the game. (CH&FC – 05 SLAF -07)

Winger Piyum Jayasinghe was finding rhythm in the game later in the thirtieth minute but miserably failed in his stepping skills and dropped the ball down in to the lawn. Yet, center Tumula Ioane who was on the corner for the support picked up the dirt ball and scored off piercing the defense line of the Airmen. Though Jamaldeen failed to gain the extra points for the second consecutive time, the try put them ahead by five points and visitors led for the first time. (CH&FC – 10 SLAF – 07)

The first phase of the game depicted unforced errors from both the sides as the Maitland Crescent lads evidently threw away chances of scoring through ludicrous mistakes on the field. The experience of Jamaldeen was not in full use as he missed a couple of conversions. Denesh Weeraratene of SLAF was red carded by the referee when he showed indiscipline on the field when he knocked down an opposing player. After a childish forty minutes of rugby the game halted for lemons.

Half time – Sri Lanka Air Force SC – 07 CH&FC – 10)

With the wind crossing the pitch horizontally It was an callous task to bisect the uprights and it was proved when the ball collapsed after knocking on the left bar of the uprights when Gayantha Iddamalgoda kicked it off for the penalty awarded for the home team during the forty first minute of the game.

Both teams settling themselves down playing into each others weakness and the Airmen getting their set pieces right scored after a winning line out when center Charith Seneviratene scored his second try to bring the game back to the hands of the home lads. Ball falling to bisect the uprights put them ahead of two points.  (CH&FC – 10 SLAF -12)

Rimzie Jamaldeen settling down in his pair of boots dimidiated the uprights when he helped to gain back the lead by one point after a penalty awarded in favor of them in the forty ninth minute.

(CH&FC -13 SLAF -12)

Youngsters of CH&FC settled immediately after and played sound rugby making the Airmen change their plans in the game. Centre Musheen Falil drawing four defenders onto himself off loaded the ball to winger Eranga Ranaweera where he made no mistake.. Jamaldeen added  the extra points.. (CH&FC – 20 SLAF – 12)

Both the outfits were awarded one penalty each on two different occasions and surprisingly both the place kickers gained full value off the penalties awarded and helped the ball to sail through. Yet with the early lead; still CH&FC led the game by eight points. (CH&FC -23 SLAF -15)

Musheen Falil playing valuable minutes was busy faking defenders and making them look like dummies in the pitch. His stepping was bought into full value when he scored the final try in the final minute on the right side of the lawn and was undoubtedly the most eye-catching try of the match. With the conversion the game was far out of reach for the home lads. (CH&FC – 30 SLAF – 15)

Bilal Yousuf the man in charge of CH&FC speaking to said “It was a good first match for us. We had only a few weeks to practice and with the foreigners joining us late. The guys showed a lot of potential and we have a few more areas to improve and I hope we can work it out in no time”. The referee blew out eighty minutes when airmen walked away with their second consecutive defeat.

Full time – Sri Lanka Air Force SC – 15 CH&FC – 30 player of the match – Piyum Jayasinghe (CH&FC)