Havies snatch a thriller | Sunday Observer

Havies snatch a thriller

Havelocks fly-half Sandesh Jayawickrema attempts to kick ahead in the face of opposition from Army  (Pic: Chaminda Niroshana)
Havelocks fly-half Sandesh Jayawickrema attempts to kick ahead in the face of opposition from Army (Pic: Chaminda Niroshana)

Havelock SC pipped Army SC by 45 points to 42 in a nail-biting Dialog Rugby League second round encounter played under lights at Havelock Park yesterday.

The scoring swung like a pendulum with either side taking turns to score and both sides playing in their robust and fast rugby going the full distance. Ultimately, the home team ended with their skipper Mithun Hapugoda coming up with his magic move to pick up the ball from the base and go through a gap that gave them the lead with the minutes ticking by.

Havelocks scored seven tries and five conversions to six tries and six conversions by Army that put them behind by just three points.

It was the Army SC fifteen that were on a roll this time from the start. They hounded the Havelocks players in their territory with some speedy and fierce play to take control and possession. This gave Army the advantage to score the tries with the Havies defence falling apart to the brutal force. The scoring in the first half went either way after Havelocks opened the scoring in the fifth minute as Umesh Madushan went over for a try in the run of play.

Thereafter, it was Army who took over the scoring as they indulged in a rolling maul and Shehan Silva had the ball in his arms to score for Chamath Fernando to convert.

Army scored again three minutes later when they stormed into Havies territory and after finding the gap Isuru Madushanka went through with his speedy run for Fernando to convert.

Havelocks scored later when their forwards worked the ball in and Umesh Madushan went over the line for Jayawickrema to convert.

Army scored next through Isuru Mahagedera for Fernando to add the extra points.

Havelocks got an opportunity to score a try to keep abreast with the points as they won a scrum for a high tackle and number eight Lasindu Karunathilaka went through for Jayawickrema to convert. Army’s Sudara Dikumbura scored a try and with Fernando converting they took a 35-21 lead at half time.

After the turn around Havelocks played with more determination and nailed the marauding Army forwards with some close tacking.

Havelocks opened the second half when they scored a try by Umesh Madushan, his third, off a rolling maul and scored again in the run of play when centre Randy Silva found the gap and went over for an unconverted try.

They scored again off a line out and Azmeer Fajudeen barged through for Jayawickrema to convert and give Havelocks the lead 40-35.

Army SC came back in their usual fierce brand of rugby and scored their last try through skipper Thusitha Senanahyake who put the finishing touches to a three-quarter move as Medagedara converted to take the lead again 42-40.

With less than five minutes left of play, Havelocks took play to Army territory, won a line out and after a series of mauls Mithun Hapugoda acted as the scrum half and went over the line. Jayawickrema failed to convert but Havelocks held on to the slender three points lead.