Army rattle CH into third defeat | Sunday Observer

Army rattle CH into third defeat

CH and FC player Rohitha Rajapaksa is held back by the Army defence Picture by Saman Mendis
CH and FC player Rohitha Rajapaksa is held back by the Army defence Picture by Saman Mendis

Army SC came into the second half all fired and pumped up to turn their performance completely and rattle the more fancied CH and FC by 24 points to 18 in their Dialog League rugby encounter played at Police Park yesterday as the Maitland Crescent Club slumped to their third defeat eventually making them say goodbye to the Cup.

They ended up scoring three tries all of which were converted along with one penalty while CH could reply with only two tries, one drop goal, one conversion and a penalty.

CH had in their ranks Sudharshana Muthuthantri, Dickkumbura, Pulasthi Bandara, Henry Terrance, Nishon Perera Suddam Sooriyarachchi and Naveen Henakankanamge of national standing who could have contributed towards their victory.

But Army after their coach’s talk at half time went out fully charged and played like tigers to make maximum use of their possession and using their weight pushed back the famed CH side.

They mounted many forays into CH territory time and again that deprived CH of any chances at scoring.

It was CH who opened scoring as early as in the seventh minute with Samuel Maduwantha the reliable place kicker putting over a 42 metre penalty to take the lead.

Then it was Army’s turn and Gayan Salinda converted an easy 20-metre penalty for an off-side to equalize.

CH went ahead when they made good use of possession and on working their back division winger Naveen Henakankanamge had to take two defenders to score a try in the 26th minute. Maduwantha converted to take the lead 10-3.

Army struck back and off a third phase move centre Sameera Bulathsinhala scored taking a tackler with him. Salinda added the extra points and the scores were 10-10..

As play continued to change ends frequently, CH got ahead when Maduwantha put over a drop goal from 35 metres out on the stroke of half time.

The second half was completely different with Army dominating play as they not only attacked but tackled effectively to keep CH in their territory.

Army scored in the first minute after the turn around when off a line-out Thirusha Adikaram barged over with the help of the other burly forwards for Salinda to add the extra points for Army who took the lead 17-13.

Thereafter Army occupied CH territory for almost fifteen minutes and crossed the line three times three times for what looked like tries that were disallowed with referee Priyantha Gunaratne signalling that the ball was not grounded.

Finally, Army succeeded when fly half Ashan Bandara found the gap and went over for Salinda to once again add the extra points as they led 24-13 at that stage.

CH then got their act together and on keeping possession with them kept moving ahead. One such three-quarter move saw their scrum half come around to the wing and cross over for a try.

Maduwantha failed to convert and Army finished with a six points lead to win.