Thomians edge Petes 23/22 in thriller


S. Thomas pulled off a hard fought 23 points (4 tries,1 penalty) to 22 (3 tries, 2 conversions, 1 penalty) win over St Peter’s in their Dialog Inter School Under-20 Rugby League encounter worked off in Bambalapitiya on Friday. This encounter was played for Archibald Perera Memorial Trophy.

At the short breather Thomians led 20/19.

Both teams dished out quality rugby, converting territory gained into points. The lads from Mount Lavinia dominated play early in the game, but the hosts hit back after 15 minutes of play. Both teams managed to score 4 tries in the initial half as it was an open game played at a very good pace dominated by the three- quarter line of both teams. After the turn around it was the forwards who held sway.

For Thomians scrum half Malith Perera and fly half Yehan Bulathsinhalage were outstanding. Malith dummied his way and outfoxed the home team defense to score. Meanwhile, Yehan gained territory with his booming kicks to touch for their three quarters to attack from the opposition half. Sadly, his kicks at goal were way below expectations, missing all of them.

For the Bambalapitiya lads, Kushan Tharindu and Hirun Gunaratne were outstanding both in attack as well in defense. Vindya de Mel who replaced Emith Jayaweera in kicking duties, missed two kickable penalties and try conversion, which could have taken them through easily.

Thomians drew first blood in the 10th minute of the game through their fly half, Yehan Bulathsinhalage, He missed the conversion. Peterites hit back through a converted try. Thomians cut the deficit through a try by their nippy scrum half Malith Perera. Another brilliant 45-metre dash by Rehan Wickremasooriya took the Thomians into the lead 15/14. Janidu Dela went over for the Thomians 4th try, but surprisingly all 4 conversions were missed by reliable Yehan Bulathsinghalage.

Chathumina Nethsara scored for the Bambalapitiya lads after Vindhya de Mel missed an easy penalty for the home team. At the short breather it was 20/19 favouring the visitors.

After the turn around Vindya de Mel missed another penalty before being on target with an easy kick to take the lead 22/20. After an equally dominant second half, though the home team had more opportunity to score Yehan Bulathsinghalage was on target with a penalty kick to take back the lead 23/22.

Peterites could have still ended on the winning side if Vindya de Mel had converted the sitter 25 meters in front of the posts, which went astray.

Referee Dilum Deeshana

 Peterites won the Under-16 (12/5) and Under-18 (14/0) games, while the Thomians won the Under-14 encounter 24/5.

(Pix by Kelum Chamara)

By Special Correspondent