By Jason Perera
Kandy were really lucky due to a relatively easy conversion missed by full back Reeza Mubarak according to his standards of the try scored by their centre Dinuk Amarasinghe, gifted Kandy the 2018/19 Dialog Inter - Club league title as Kandy Sports Club beat a fighting Havelock Sports Club by 21 points ( 2 tries, 1 conversion, 3 penalties) to 19 ( 3 tries, 2 conversions).
Havies were playing even with out their head coach Sanath Martis due to a suspension pending inquiry in their Dialog 'A' Division inter-club league rugby super round deciding match played at Havelock grounds in Havelock Park yesterday. At lemons the score read 18 Nil in favour of Kandy.
Havies are to be blame for them selves for this defeat as they opted to go for touch instead of taking three easy kickable penalties within the range of 20-25 metres, which was clearly within the range of their reliable place kicker Mubarak. But Kandy opted for the three penalties which came their way as their place kicker full back Thilina Wijesinghe was on target adding nine points in the match which in the end proved to be the winning factor.
Kandy opened scoring in the third minute of play with a superb try scored by their fly half Nigel Ratwatte off a three quarter move. Full back Wijesinghe fluffed the conversion but went into a 5-nil lead.
In the 13th minute of the game Kandy SC went in to a 8 nil lead through a simple 25 metre penalty slotted in by Wijesinghe.
Wijesinghe put over an easy 30 metre penalty again for Kandy to increased their score to 11 nil in the 18th minute of the game.
In the 27th minute Kandy captain cum winger Richard Darmapala scored a spectacular under the post try going through seven Havelock defenders to scoreusing his nippy foot work. Wijesinghe slotted in the conversion and they went in to a strong 18 nil lead.
At the breather Kandy Sports Club led 18 nil.
On resumption in the 45th minute of the game Wijesinghe fired across another simple 30 metre penalty to increased the margin to 21 nil.
Havelock SC open their account and scored in the 57th minute when their second row forward Sithum Peiris barged over the Kandy defence to score a superb try which Mubarak fired across the conversion to make the score to 21-7.
Havies scored again in the 71st minute to cut down the lead to 21-12 through aexcellent try scored by their centre Dinuk Amarasinghe off a fine three quarter move. Mubarak missed the easy conversion.
The home team had plenty of chances of breaching the kandy defence on not less than four occasions, but their moves lacked the finishing touches, despite the presence of several reputed national players in their side.
Finally the Park Club boys scored a consolation try in the last move of the day when their nippy scrum half Mithun Hapugoda touched down for aspectacular try which Mubarak slotted in the conversion thus losing the game by mere two points. If they have at least drew the game today they would have been crowned as the league champs but missed conversion by Mubarak cost them the championship.
The final score stood at Kandy Sports Club 21 points to Havelock Sports Club19.
CH and FC full back Samuel Maduwantha adjudged the highest points scorer of the 2018/19 League tournament
While CH and FC Scrum half Sudam Sooriarachchi and Havies scrum half Mithun Hapugoda adjudged the highest tries scorers of the 2018/19 league tournament with 11 tries each.
Referee: Just Wong (Singapore)
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