Havelock Sports Club (HSC) was back to its winning ways with a thumping 34-5 win over CH & FC.
The weather looked good for the game at the beginning with a cool climate prevailing but long moments of a continuous drizzle made the grounds soggy enough to witness a mite of sloppy-ness towards the mid/latter part of the game.
Havelocks kicked off proceedings at their home grounds at the picturesque Havelock Park. Dulaj Perera had the opportunity to put the home side on the board first with a penalty but was unsuccessful early on. Dulaj Perera made up for the lost points with a pleasing run through the opposition defense, offloading to the nippy Kavindu De Costa who went under the posts. Dulaj Perera made no mistake with the conversion as the host went into the lead with a 7 nothing converted try. Dulaj Perera was called to duty once more to add a 3fer on to the existing score and he was spot on with the penalty taking the score to 10 nothing.
CH after looking to find their game had the opportunity to build pressure with a Havelocks scrum from 5 meters away from the goal line. The Havelocks Number 8 Josh Kaifa though had different ideas as he broke cleanly and drubbed the defence and progressed 40 meters out and offloaded to speedster Herath who put the finishing touches with a scintillating 60 meter sprint. Dulaj Perera missed the conversation as the score ticked on to 15 nothing with the visitors yet to make an impression.
Towards the latter part of the first quarter RImze Jamaldeen had the chance to put the visitors on the board but was unsuccessful with the penalty attempt. CH & FC though finally managed to get their first points on the board with sloppy ball being collected by a watchful scrum half Sheshan Zalih. Rimze Jamaldeen’s kicking game was off, unlike in his previous match, and missed the extra points – 15-5 Havies leading.
With only minutes remaining in the first half Havies increased their lead through their foreign centre Villiami Tahituwa who dashed to the line brushing off the platy defence to notch an easy score. Dulaj Perera had no trouble with the conversion and increased the hosts lead to a daunting 22-5.
Half time: Havelock Sports Club 22 (1P, 2G, 1T) to CH & FC 05 (1T)
As the second half kicked off, the Havelocks were awarded a penalty and the host decided to go for an ambitious 55 meter go for the 3 points. Dulaj Perera was in the spotlight to showcase his distance but did not live up to the requirement as the attempt dropped into the 20meter area. Nevertheless only 7 minutes into the half HSC was once more on the board courtesy of a push over try with Dushmantha Priyadarshana carrying the ball over the goal line. Dulaj Perera’s kick for the extra points was dragged and the scores read 27-5 in favour of the hosts.
Dulaj Perera was more promising in the second half with a few piercing runs but the finishing lacked for the hosts else the score would have tipped further in their favour. The Havelocks battering ram Villiami Tahituwa was continuously in the action giving the CH team a torrid time. It was the centre who once more made the try as he positioned himself for the overlap and finished sternly to go over the line and pass the ball over to a gleeful Perera to score under the posts. Dulaj Perera converting the gift try took the score to 34-5 in favour of Havelock Sports Club.
Havelocks saw their discipline lack towards the end of the game in addition to things heating up in the middle as well. The continued infringements resulted in Dushmantha Priyadarshana and Rehan Thiyagarajah both being sent to the bin at different intervals.
The hosts were seen testing out almost their entire bench towards the latter part of the game with the match being bagged and the likes of Ashan Darling, Shenal Deelaka, Ranga Perera, etc. all getting some game time. The game closed with the scores remaining at 34-5.
Full time: Havelocks Sport Club 34 (1P, 3G, 2T) to CH & FC 5 (1T)
All in all the home side will be glad for the moral boosting win despite not being at a 100%, with the ground conditions also playing a role. Speaking to the Havelocks camp Coach Glen said that the match was a good first half for the team but went quite flat in the second half. Getting back to winning times of course is a good side of the equation to be in and the Coach also expressed his confidence for the rest of the season as the only two losses could have easily been a win for the Havelocks camp.
ThePapare Player of the Match: Villiami Tahituwa – Havelocks Centre
Havelocks SC: Ganuka Dissanayake, Liston Karunanayake, Dushmantha Priyadarshana, Ashen Karthelis, Jason Melder, Shehan Pathirana, Sudarshan Muthuthanthri, Josh Kaifa, Kavindu de Costa, Dulaj Perera, Rehan Thyagarajah, Villiami Tahituwa, Hirantha Perera, Sandun Herath, Mithun Hapugoda, Ashan Darling, Ranga Perera, Senal Silva, Faufa Sioni, Asela Dissanayake, Thusitha Samarathilake, Shehan Dias and Sheriff Mohamed.
CH & FC: Kokils Hiran, Hamza Hassan, Eroshan de Alwis, Hasthika Bandaranayake, Charles Praveen, Ganidu Lakshan, Radeesha Seneviratne, Gayan Rathnage, Sheshan Zalih, Rimze Jamaldeen, Eranda Ranaweera, Rusla Vukaia, Muhseen Faleel, Pium Jayasinghe, Tumua Ioane, Sanjeewa Priyankara, Dilusha Pathmakumara, Uthpala Saranga, Chilanka Samaraweera, Dinesh Tharanga, Dishan Kelaniyagoda, Rajitha Sansoni and Dushanshanka Peiris.