Isipathana pips St. Anthony’s at post

Published : 8:36 am  June 12, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 

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By M. Shamil Amit
St. Anthony’s came so near yet it was so far as a breathtaking late burst by Isipathana saw the Colombo school prevailing by a wafer thin point in the third quarter-final of the Milo U20 inter-schools rugby knockout tournament encounter played at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday.


The Eagles were leading 28-24 with only three minutes remaining, but full back Anjana Thushan’s try brought heartbreak for the Antonians. 


Isipathana after trailing 12-15 turned the game in their favour with back to back tries during the dying stages. Isipathana accumulated their points through two goals and three tries to a goal, three tries, a drop goal and a penalty scored by St. Anthony’s.


Eagles’ full back Samuel Maduwantha who had earlier put over a 60 meter drop goal made a valiant last minute drop goal attempt, only to see the effort falling inches short. 


It took 21 minutes for the first scoring to be done with St. Anthony’s touching down for an unconverted try by flanker Jithen Daulagala.
Five minutes later Isipathana succeeded to penetrate the defence ending in flanker Umesh Jayamanne going over for an unconverted try.


Isipathana continued to put the Antonians under pressure and succeeded to take the lead with winger Nadeesha Chaminda’s under the posts try which gave centre Manilka Sulakshana an easy kick at goal.


But that was short-lived as the Antonians planted two tries within a space of three minutes with winger Ishara Liyanage going over for the first and prop forward Dinesh Rodrigo the other to lead 15-12 at the short whistle.


The resumption saw the Antonians going into the attack and giving their opponent’s some anxious moments and in the third minute Dinesh Rodrigo helped them increase the lead through a try off a five metre scrum and with Maduwantha making the conversion Antonians surged ahead 22-12.


Seven minutes later Samuel Maduwantha surprised Isipathana executing a drop goal from 60 metres out.


With the Antonians enjoying a comfortable 25-12 lead they seemed to relax and Isipathana made the first move in this session with a second-row forward going over for a left corner flag try but the ensuing conversion was fluffed.


This followed with the Antonians being offered a penalty which was successfully booted over by Maduwantha as they increased the lead to 28-17.


The final ten minutes of proceedings saw Pathana dominating possession and with fly half Randy Silva’s try and Manilka Sulakshana making the conversion the gap narrowed to 28-24. 


Isipathana will meet St. Peter’s in the semi-final to be played on June 18.
Referee – Rohan Fernando

 

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