Peterites snatch dramatic win | Sunday Observer

Peterites snatch dramatic win

Triumphant rugby players of St. Peter’s College comprising Senura Perera, Malinga Hashan, Janidu Fernando, Laknesh Perera, Yohan Fernando, Nizran Nilar, Bilal Hilmy (captain), Senthika Fernando, Ravin Fernando, Thenuka Nanayakkara, Shenol Silva, Sunera Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Ishan Fernando, Sathmina Perera, Jehan Rayzo, Akalanka Perera, Jason Kulatilleke, Megha Dias, Oshada Fernando, Chandima Sandaruwan, Asheal Ranasinghe, Shanel Ranasinghe, Yashoda Mendis and Stellon Eardly pose with the Milo trophy
Triumphant rugby players of St. Peter’s College comprising Senura Perera, Malinga Hashan, Janidu Fernando, Laknesh Perera, Yohan Fernando, Nizran Nilar, Bilal Hilmy (captain), Senthika Fernando, Ravin Fernando, Thenuka Nanayakkara, Shenol Silva, Sunera Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka, Ishan Fernando, Sathmina Perera, Jehan Rayzo, Akalanka Perera, Jason Kulatilleke, Megha Dias, Oshada Fernando, Chandima Sandaruwan, Asheal Ranasinghe, Shanel Ranasinghe, Yashoda Mendis and Stellon Eardly pose with the Milo trophy

St. Peter’s College came back from near defeat to turn tables on a spirited Wesley College before winning in the final five minutes of play in a crackerjack Milo trophy knock-out tournament rugby final at the Royal College Sports Complex ground yesterday.

The Peterites won 18-15 after trailing 8-15 in the second half as centre Thenuka Nanayakkara landed a penalty from 30 metres out.

The Peterites took the lead early in the first half when Nanayakkara put over a penalty to make it 3-0 after which Wesley equalized through Kavindana Perera making the scores 3-3.

But Wesley making the final a worthy occasion went ahead 10-3 after Number Eight Samuel Ogbebor went over the line with the forwards for Perera to convert.

But in the very next minute the Peterites hit back to score their first try as they smothered a clearance kick by a Wesley defender for winger Shenon Silva to charge down and score after the ball crossed into the in-goal area.

Nanayakkara missed the conversion as the scores read 10-8 in favour of Wesley who then stretched the lead 15-8 just before half time after Ogbebor taking a quick tap off a penalty caught the Peterite defence napping and barged over to score. The conversion was missed. The Peterites lost their forwards play-maker Nizran Nilar due to injury in the second half and it appeared as if they were cracking up.

But it was not to be as the Peterite pack regrouped and kept pushing back the Wesley forwards at every given opportunity to equal the scores at 15-15 six minutes into the second half when Nanayakkara scored off a back-line move to make the conversion to his own try.

From then on the Wesley forwards began to crack and they never looked like making a comeback as the Peterites found their feet to make headway.

At one stage it looked as if the Peterites were going to blow up the result when they opted to unsuccessfully run a penalty that was within range 15 minutes before the end. But a second penalty in the final five minutes of play was taken and Nanayakkara made no mistake to put the Peterites into the lead at 18-15. Wesley were awarded a penalty from 40 metres out in the dying moments of the game and deciding on a kick at goal taken by Perera saw the ball fall short of the posts.

For the Peterites the defending champions it was their second successive victory in the final of the Milo trophy.

The match also marked the end of the refereeing career of Dinka Peiris while the Peterites bowed out victorious in the absence of their coach Sanath Martis with Rajeev Perera filling the void and being with the players right from the start as they also finished the League as runners-up to Royal College.

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