Defending Champions Isipathana College signed off their Singer rugby League, Round one, Group fixture list with a well fought 32 – 22 victory over Kingswood College, Kandy at the Bogambara stadium. The game was played under horrible conditions as heavy downpour made the ground look like a paddy field soaked in water. However, the Green shirts manage to score 5 tries while converting two of them while also putting over the penalty. Kingswood responded with 2 goals a Try and a penalty.
Isipathana were on the front foot right from the kick-off and five minutes into the game Skipper Omalka Gunarathne powered his way over the try line for an unconverted try. Isipathana had the majority of the possession, but the tough conditions didn’t help their cause. During the 20th minute, Kingswood managed to reduce the deficit to two points when Skipper Reeza Rafaideen slotted over a beautiful kick from a difficult angle. Isipathana scored their second try through winger.
Isipathana scored their second try through winger Asitha Gayashan who added the finishing touches to good back division move. Fly half Isuru Kongahawatte who had a splendid game added the extra points from narrow-angle much to the joy of his supporters. But the home team took advantage of Isipathana mistakes to come back into Isipathana territory and after a few phases Wimalaweera squeezed through the Isipathana defense to touch down, besides the post giving Rafaideen and easy kick at goal. Minutes before the short whistle winger Dilan Gallage added the finishing touches to a magnificent move initiated by Chathura Dilshan who made a stunning off load to Omalka Gunarathna who in return drew the defense and sent Gallage through to the try line. The conversion was missed but Isipathana led 17-10 at the breather.
The resumption saw Isipathana unleashing wave after wave, attacking the Kingswoodian defense and after a few hits and shoves. Omalka crashed over for his 2nd try of the game, his 11th for the season taking a quick tap off a penalty. Kongahawatte added the extras and Isipathana had a healthy 24-10 lead. But Kingswood came back strongly scoring two tries in the space of 10 minutes. Rafaideen was successful with one of the conversions and Kingswood reduced Isiapathana’s lead to just two points. (24-22). Isipathana though did not succumb under pressure and led by their skipper Omalka they always made sure they had control of the game. They confidently added another 3 points through the boot of Kongahawatte via a penalty and then put the issue beyond doubt during the dying stages of the game with a try, scored by Flanker Vageesha Weerasinghe who added the finishing touches to a marauding run by Omalka Gunarathne.
For Isipathana they will be satisfied with their performance as they played in atrocious ground conditions and away from home. Second rower Matheesha Sarathchandra once again had an outstanding game in the line-outs while the other players chipped in as well to complete a team performance. They will now go into the 2nd round full of confidence and an unbeaten tag ahead of some tough games. For Kingswood the loss ends their title hopes for another year despite them qualifying for the 2nd round.
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