Navy Sports Club booked the final spot on offer for the Dialog Clifford Cup knockout semifinals when they defeated Police Sports Club 19-10 in the quarterfinal played at the Racecourse this evening.
Full time score: Navy – 19 (2T 3P) to Police – 10 (1T 1C 1P)
Despite their attacking playing efforts in the first where the Policemen held possession for almost 80%, they failed to capitalize in getting the important win to move forward in the draw.
Police were gifted three kickable penalties and instead of kicking, the Cops opted to go for touch to the get bigger points. Their urge to gain went on become their weakness, as every time they made ground the ball was intercepted. Police finally got on board with a 22m-penalty kick that Rizah Mubarak kicked with ease (3-0).
However their lead was just limited to a few seconds where right after the restart, Navy won themselves a 44m penalty off an infringement of a Police player. Thilina Weerasinghe made no mistake in bisecting the posts (3-3). The League’s highest point scorer, Weerasinghe went on to show his talent when he kicked another distant penalty to put his team on the lead (6-3).
The cops got their trump card when Navy’s Hashan Maduranga was penalized for obstruction of play and sent to the sin-bin. Taking advantage of the situation, Police moved forward through with a forward maul and allowed Dilshan Gayan to score the first. Rizah Mubarak’s 44m conversion went over giving the Cops a 4 point lead (10-6).
When all was going good for Police, it was Lee Keegal’s attacking run from his own 22m got the pendulum ticking back on to the sailors. It was Thilina Weerasinghe who scored the try as Navy took the lead just before lemons (11-10).
Half time Navy 11 – Police 10
The second was once again a blatant affair with Navy sealing the game in the second half. Disaster struck Police when their flanker and key player Joel Perera was shown the red card after tackling his opponent in the air. The dismissal of Perera proved to be the bad omen for the cops as right afterwards Supun Pieris scored through the farther right (16-10).
Despite Thilina Weerasinghe missing the conversion on the earlier try, he kicked a marvelous 48 meter penalty to seal the victory for the Sailors (19-10). As Police were struck once again with the exit of Rizah Mubarak with an injury, it left them helpless in the middle.
Navy registered a win against Police Sports Club securing their semifinal spot, as they would travel to Kandy to face the defending champions. Navy will be hopefully at full strength, as today’s team didn’t see their key players in action.
ThePapare.com’s man of the match: Thilina Weerasinghe
Navy – 19 (2T 3P) to Police – 10 (1T 1C 1P)
Tries for Navy by Supun Pieris and Thilina Weerasinghe. Penalties by Thilina Weerasinghe
Try for Police by Dilshan Gayan. Penalty and Conversion by Rizah Mubarak