A superior demonstration of fast, open rugby by Isipathana College three-quarters, well backed up by their forwards, handed Trinity College their second defeat ahead of the key Bradby Shield return leg, by 23 points to 18 at the end of an absorbing schools’ rugby league fixture at Pallekele yesterday.
It was an improved retort by Trinity, brushing aside their woes after their loss against Royal in the first leg, but relieving pressure on the Pathans goal line and miscalculated kicks by their place kicker and full back Sanchana Shiek, who failed to spot three conversations and two penalties, eventually cost them the game.
It was Trinity that dominated the first half of the game both in the set piece and loose play and thus managed to lead 8-8 at the breather, but after the turnaround, it was the Pathans who called the trumps spearheaded by their dynamic full back Probodha Kumara that made the difference.
Trinity, who were more contingent on their forwards, made the mistake of underutilising their three-quarters and thus conceded a goal, two tries, a penalty and also a drop goal, against their tally of three unconverted tries and a solitary penalty.
Handling seemed to be the moot point once again for the pandiths’ review in the Trinity camp and once again they had to pay dearly and in the end, none to be blamed for their own mistakes but themselves.
On the contrary, team Pathana, fit as a fiddle, utilised their armaments in good sum and their three-quarters, who put up a dazzling performance, enabled them to turn out to be the superior team in the end.
It was Pathana who drew first blood off a penalty when Trinity were reprimanded for being off side and it was full back Kumara who put over a fine 40 metre kick to lead 3-0.
But the lions fought back off a try and opened the account in the 12th minute when their lock forward Randika Alwis went over to score an unconverted try. Thus the Lions were in the lead at least for once in this game, by 5-3.
But what transpired later was a brave fight-back by the Pathans who in a fine passage of play scored an unconverted try. A cross kick by fly half Prasad Devinda was misjudged by Trinity winger Thisila Karunathilake when he knocked on to the ball, but Pathans’ Kumara made no mistake in picking up the ball before covering the required distance to put five points on the board and the visitors led 8-5.
It was shortly afterwards that rain slowed down the intensity and pace of the game but it was short-lived when the teams gathered their momentum when rain ceased. Yet, the unruly spectator behavior, in which a few stones were directed at the play area from the Pathans’ stand, did last and it forced the referee to halt play at least for five minutes before lemons.
After the turnaround, it was Pathans who rattled as their forwards fed their three quarters with good balls. A scintillating effort saw them worked their line when Kumara touched down far left following a penalty, line out, rolling maul and a ruck. A brilliant kick by Kumara himself put 15 points on the board for Pathans, against 8.
Trinity were determined to score and this time they made no mistakes when their prop forward Imzamam Mubarak broke away from the ruck and covered a distance of 20 metres, but fell short. Yet, he had the back-up and number eight Sean Foster went over mid-left to score an unconverted try and Trinity were still trailing 13-15.
Then came a fabulous piece of work when Pathans’ play-maker, Kumara picking up the loose ball in mid-field intercepted and went past six defenders before he scored an unconverted try mid-right. Pathans led 20-13.
Trinity closing the gap made a valiant effort as they were resolute in making their backs run. It was winger Mohamed Shashan who ran down the left flank before he came round to score near the left post. As Sheik missed his conversion Trinity fell short of two points against 20.
A late tackle by Trinity centre forced the referee to award a penalty for Pathans and the visitors decided to work their line following a line out maul and in the process, fly half Prasad Devinda made no mistake in his slot to execute a fine drop goal to beat the lions in their own den by 23-18.
Sri Lankan domiciled in Australia, Rohan Nishantha, earmarked to handle the Bradby
Second Leg next Saturday in Colombo, refereed.
To watch the live recording of the match read this post.
Written by Rukshan Razak obtained from the island newspaper.
Published 6 years ago