Havies win Cup after 37 years
By Shamzeer Jaleel
Havelock SC 40 points
Air Force SC 21 points
Havelock Sports Club pulled off a good 40 points (4 tries, 4 conversions, 4 penalties) to 21 points (3 tries, 3 conversions) win over Air Force in their Clifford Cup rugby 2019 final encounter which was worked off at the Racecourse ground.
Havies last won the Clifford Cup in 1981. At the short breather Havies led 21/14.
The game was contested with both teams displaying good quality rugby. Havies stood out in their pattern of play with some powerful moves made by their number 8, Lasindu Karunathilake who had a grand outing. He was good in attack as well in defense too. Havies got ample support from Riza Mubarak who joined the line most of the time and gained the much needed territory for them to attack from the opposition half. His kicking abilities were too good for the Air Force where he contributed 20 points, half of the Park Club score. In forwards play Sharo Fernando too was lightning fast. In the other three quarters, Chamara Dabare continued his brilliant form this season. Havies should be thankful to their former Head Coach, Sanath Martis who did wonders to this outfit in short span of time till he was attached to the Park Cub.
Meanwhile the Air Force outfit though ending the league last (8) never gave up but their maturity lacked at times in decision making. Charles Praveen, Nuwan Perera and Ishara Madushan stood out for them plus ball retention was one of the areas which needed improvement. They last won the Clifford Cup back in 1986.
Havies drew first blood in the 4th minute of the game when their scrum half, Mithun Hapugoda danced his way for a corner flag try. Riza Mubarak was on target with the kick at goal. This lead was short lived as Air Force hit back through some superb forwards play where the Havies did not have an answer. After collapsing the maul Air Force was awarded with a penalty try. Havies hit back through Zayan Sabar try. Riza was on target once again with his kick at goal. Chamara Dabare corner flag lightning dash and Riza conversion took the Park club to 21/7 lead. Air Force then hit back on stroke for half time with a dandy try by Ishara Madushan. Charith Seneviratne added the extras.
After the turn around Riza Mubarak put over two penalties for Havies and one try was scored by Lasindu Ishan. Air Force replied with one try through their lanky second rower, Thilina Bandara. Chathura Seneviratne added the extras. Two more Reza Mubarak penalties sealed the game for the Park Club.
Referee Remi Julien (France)
Assistant referees-Dinka Peiris and Sarath Madugalle
Minister of Sports and Telecommunications, Haren Fernando was the chief guest.
Photo credit to -Chamila Karunarathne
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