CR&FC held off Airforce SC in their final game of the Dialog Club Rugby league at Longdon Place winning it 19 points to 17.
After a quiet first few minutes CR&FC drew first blood with an unconverted try as Panduka Angammana forced his way over the line from the back of a ruck. Prince Chamara failed to bisect the uprights (05-00). The visitors bounced back with a penalty after CR were penalized for playing off side inside their 40m. Charith Seneviratne made sure he knocked three points for his side (05-03). Four minutes later Air Force took the lead for the first time with a converted try. Tharinda Ratwatta fumbled a pass which was picked off by Charith Seneviratne who almost ran all the way from the half way mark but was brought down in touching distance of the goal line. Ranjan Baddegama did well in support and was on hand to cross the line. Seneviratne added the extras. (05-10)
CR&FC bounced back with penalty off the boot of Prince Chamara to bring down the deficit to just 2 points (08-10). Charith Seneviratne had three more chances to add points for his side but failed to do so on all three occasions. A minute before the break Prince Chamara took the lead back for the Reds with another penalty from inside the 22m (11-10).
Half Time: CR&FC 11- Air Force SC 10
The second half was also a close battle as both teams defended very well. The home side was the first to trouble the scorers with an unconverted try by Jason Dissanayake. CR&FC was inside the Airforce 22m for a while before the third rower found his way through the defense to put his team 6 points ahead in the game (16-10).
Prince Charama added three more points in the 67th minute through a well taken penalty from within the 22m (19-10). In the 71st minute Malinda Hettiarachchi was sent to sin bin forcing CR&FC to close out the game with 14 players giving the airmen hope. They finally took advantage of the extra man in the very last minute as Charith Senevirathne spotted a gap and went all the way to score under the posts and convert his own try to conclude the game and the league on a high (19-17).
CR&FC ended their tournament in third place this year, one spot ahead of where they were last season while Airforce is stuck 7th place above only CH&FC.
Full Time: CR&FC 19 – Air force 17
ThePapare.com’s Man of the Match: Charith Senevirathne (Air force SC)
Ishan Noor, Skipper of CR&FC speaking to ThePapare.com;
“It was an up and down season for us this year. We had a lot of injury issues since it was long season players are bound to get injuries. But overall I’m really happy with our performances. Last year we finished at 4th place but this year we managed to go one step higher which is good.”
CR&FC- Jason Dissanayake (1T), Panduka Angammana (1T), Prince Chamara (3P).
Air Force SC- Charith Senevirathne (1T, 2C, 1P), Ranjan Baddegama (1T)