Sailors showed some depth in their squad to seal a convincing win over the one-time giant CH&FC at Welisara on Friday evening. The score at the final whistle was Navy 76 (12T, 8C) – CH&FC 13 (2T, 1P).
The highlight of the day was Thilina Weerasinghe the Navy full back who added 26 (2T, 8C) points to his stats taking his tally to 146 points this season. Also the last year’s champion Royal College captain Banuka Gamage made his club debut in the no 14 shirt on in the wing for the Sailors.
Navy played with almost 85% possession and territory during the 80 minutes. Thilina Weerasinghe opened the scoring in the 3rd minute on the right flank and converted his own try. Soon after Navy conceded 4 consecutive penalties at the breakdown and courageous CH opted to go to the corner rather than take the points on offer. Unfortunately, they were not rewarded for their bravery and were unable to come away with points. It took just 12 more minutes for the hosts to score the second try through the center Dinesh Lakmal whilst Weerasinghe missed the extras. (Navy 12 – 00 CH)
Soon after that Navy scored in the 21st, 25th, 27th and 33rd minutes to decimate the visitors. Lee Keegal returning from a controversial one-week ban scored his first and the other three came at the hands of the speedster Saliya handapangoda. Front-rower Kasun Silva also went over whilst Thilina Weerasinghe scored his second. Weerasinghe made 3 out of 4 conversions. (Navy 38 – 00 CH)
CH&FC ventured into the opposition 22m three times and deservedly walked away with a try seconds before the end of the half. Half Back Rizwan Mohamed took a quick penalty and snuck through the Navy defense. Janith Chandimal was unable to add the extras, leaving CH with a deficit of 33 points.
Half Time: Navy 38 – 05 CH&FC
Front Row forward Stephan Greogory bulldozed his way to the whitewash in just the 2nd minute of second half extending the sailors lead. A Navy infringment at the breakdown allowed Chandimal to nail a 40m penalty. Soon after Kasun Silva scored his second of the game try to bring up 50 points for the hosts. (Navy 50– 08 CH)
The Sailors scored four more tries in the 60th,65th,74th and 78th minutes. Keegal scored in the dying stages of the game completing his hat-trick in the dying stage of the game, prior to which Harsha Maduranga missed a kickable penalty for the visitors. Nevertheless, CH scored their second try through the replacement winger Danuka Rathnayake.
Former Isipathana star Chathura Dilshan enjoyed the 80 minutes with some powerful runs and strong tackles having also scored a scintillating try in the far corner. Chanaka Fonseka, Imran Inzam, Prabath Jayalath and Lahiru Mudalige played their hearts out for the visitors along with their key playmaker Rizwan who scored the first try.
ThePapare Man of the Match: Supun Peiris (Navy lock)
Quotes from the coach: “It’s not credible for us to play all these matches, we had no grounds, no money we had virtually nothing, but with this performance you can’t say bad or good.” (Waazil Hafeel CH&FC)