Published : 10:03 am  July 14, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (662) reads | 


Isipathana the Milo President’s Trophy knockout champions posing for a picture with the team officials after receiving the trophy from chief guest Akila Kariyawasam, Minister of Education


The final of the Milo Under 20 Schools P r e s i d e n t ’s Trophy knockout tournament was anything but the thriller it was expected to be, with Isipathana College crushing Royal College 47 points to 12 in a one-sided game at the Race Course International Stadium yesterday.

The Pathanians had done their homework and had the Royalists struggling for survival, racing to a comfortable 19 points to 7 lead at the breather and they added a further 28 points in the second half, as opposed to the solitary try scored by the latter. Isipathana’s tally came off seven tries, of which six were converted, while Royal were able to score a goal and a try. The hero of the Pathanians was their scrumhalf Ashok Wijekumar who went over for three tries while centre and playmaker Sumudu Rankothge and winger Ranindu Pramod shared two tries each, with fullback Gayan Wickramaratne making five conversions. For Royal, deputy skipper and scrum half Ashok went over for the first try and hooker Azmir Fajudeen scored the other with flyhalf Ovin Askey converting one of them. It was Royal who went into attack at kick-off as they gave their opponents some anxious moments but threw away opportunities of surging forward due to selfish play. Isipathana, noted for their robust play, put up the first score on the board in the 14th minute with centre Sumudu Rankothge going over for a try and Gayan adding the extra points.

Twelve minutes later Isipathana increased the lead w i t h scrumhalf R a n d y S i l v a ’ s unconverted try. Royal were unable to execute their rolling maul as the Pathanians had come prepared. They did however succeed to reduce the deficit off a five-metre scrum with Ashok Wijekumar sizzling through for a try down the right corner flag with flyhalf Ovin Askey making no mistake with the conversion. Isipathana undeterred got their act together as skipper and centre Kushan Indunil scored in the dying stages of the first half with Gayan booting over the conversion, which saw the two sides change over with the Pathanians standing on a healthy 19-7 lead. On resumption the Pathanians changed their plan getting into stride.

In the second minute Randy Silva went over for his second try, with Gayan adding the extra points, their lead increasing to 26-7. Royal went into attack but their poor ball handling let them down. They managed to breach the Isipathana defence ten minutes later however with a repeat of the first-half try, scored by hooker Azmir Fajudeen who was a marked man. Later a hat-trick of tries by Isipathana, who from there onwards dominated, saw them almost seal the game with Sumudu Rankothge going over for a try in the 25th minute.

 Winger Randy Silva followed with his third try 11 minutes later and the last try was scored by Ranidu Pramod which was his second of the match — a peach of try as he grabbed the ball in Royal territory and sprinted over 70 metres for an under the post try. The three tries were converted — one by Gayan and the other two by Randu Pramod — with which the long whistle was blown by referee Rohan Fernando as Isipathana regained the title which they surrendered to Science College last year, and in the process they bagged their seventh Milo President’s Trophy, since it started in 1995.