St Joseph’s pulled off a thrilling 16 points (1 try, 1 conversion, 3 penalties) to 13 points (2 tries, 1 penalty) win over Wesley in extra time in their semi-final at Havelock Park last evening, which concluded under semi-darkness.
At the short breather it was Wesley who led 5/0.
The game was played under wet conditions with both teams making a number of handling errors.
Wesley dominated the early part of the game, but could not convert territory into points. After the turn around, Joes settled well and looked a yard faster than their opponents. They too did not play up to their full potential making many errors.
Wesley drew first blood in the 23rd minute through an unconverted try through winger Nithila Rodrigo. This was the only score in the initial half.
After the turn-around, Dilhara Subash put Joes on the board with an easy 30 meter penalty. Another Dilhara Subash penalty put the Darley Road outfit in the lead 6/5. Jehan Athukorale scored for Joes and Dilhara Subash kicked right to increase the lead further to 13/5.
A Sheveen Jayawardena penalty brought Wesley back into the game and close the gap to 5 points. Skipper Tharusha Jayaweera, who had a grand outing, scored a magnificent try to equalize the scores at 13 apiece at full time and the game went into extra time.
Ruchira Rodrigo held his nerve to put over a 25 meter penalty to give Joes the much-needed win, and they will now face Isipathana in the final encounter next weekend.
Referee Raveen Alexander
Chairman’s Trophy – St. John’s beat Nalanda 25/12
Premier Trophy – Zahira beat Thurstan 23/5
(Pic by Kelum Chamara)
By Special Correspondent