Dialog School Rugby League Under-20 moves towards the end of the season with only the last 5 matches to be completed.
In Segment ‘A’, Trinity and Royal having already completed their first-round matches and the battle now heats up for second place.
The match between St. Joseph’s and St. Anthony’s will be of vital importance for Trinity, as the result will decide who ends up as No.2.
If Joes win then they will move forward along with Royal. If Antonians win or match ends in a draw, then Trinity will be through
Meanwhile, in Segment ‘B’, Isipathana have cemented their place in the next round as the only unbeaten side in the League so far. The slot for the second position will be a toss-up between Wesley and Vidyartha.
Can Vidyartha bring down mighty Isipathana?
Isipathana travel to Kandy on 29 July to play their last league game, when they encounter the ‘Dark Horse’ of the tournament Vidyartha, who are brimming with confidence after their three wins in tandem against St Peter’s, Dharmaraja and Science.
Isipathana will be without their Head Coach Saliya Kumara, who is with the national Women’s outfit at the Commonwealth Games. Based on current form, Isipathana should be able to maintain their unbeaten record and move forward to round 2 with a clean sheet.
Though Vidyartha could spoil the party of any team, Isipathana should prevail.
Referee Gihan Yatawara
Vital game for Joes
Joes who are No.3 at present will look forward to finish round one on a winning note when they take on St. Anthony’s at Havelock Park on 1 August, which will allow them to clinch the No.2 position. They have many injury worries, plus will miss their Head Coach Nilfer Ibrahim, who is on duty with the Men’s National sevens team at the Commonwealth Games.
Meanwhile, SACK will be playing their second game away in Colombo, after being edged out by the Thomians in their last encounter. They will be looking forward to end their campaign on a winning note. Antonians have been unable to put the finishing touches to their good moves. Their three-quarter line has always looked threatening, but lacked the support of the forwards at crucial times to gain the end result.
Joes needs a win, but Trinity will be hoping their Big Match rivals can beat or end on equal terms, to enable them to move to round 2.
Referee Dilum Deeshana
Wesley hold slight edge
Wesley will be in Kandy on 30 July to play their last league game when they lock horns with Dharmaraja. The Double Blues should not have much difficulty in overcoming their opponents, but playing in Kandy they could face a few challenges if they do not quickly adapt to the local climate conditions.
A win here will put Wesley into round 2.
Referee Aaqil Jamaldeen
Peterites play for pride
St. Peter’s, who are going through one of their lean patches this season, will be all out to end round 1 on a winning note when they confront Science College on 31 July.
Both schools are out of contention for round 2.
Referee Raveen Alexander
Thomians to continue winning streak
Thomians will be in Kandy on 31 July and will be hoping to end round 1 on a winning note when they face Kingswood – the wooden spoonist of the group.
Kingswood were massacred by Royal, Trinity and Antonians by half a century each, while losing out to Joes 3/34. The lads from Randles Hill were able to cross the line only once this season.
Meanwhile, Thomians under Head Coach Shamly Nawas did well in all their 4 games. Though beaten by Trinity, Royal and Joes, all three games could have gone either way. They beat SACK in their last outing and will hope for a repeat performance to end at No.4 in the group, which is the best they could do at present.
Referee Aruna Shantha
29 Vidyartha vs Isipathana (Nittawela)
30 Dharmaraja vs Wesley (Nittawela)
31 Kingswood vs S. Thomas (Nittawela)
31 Science vs St. Peter’s (Ratmalana)
01 St. Joseph’s vs St. Anthony’s (Havelock Park)
By Special Correspondent