Army in nerve racking win

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By 2017-12-18

By Nadeesha Chathuranga

Army Sports Club beat Air Force Sports Club 33-32 in their inter club match at Race Course Grounds yesterday.

Army scored five tries (four conversions), while Air Force scored four tries (three conversion) and two penalties. With the kick off Army SC came close to scoring and were about five meters from the try line when there was a knock on and the chance was missed. Air Force SC counter attacked but again bad ball handling cost them the chance and Army took back possession of the ball. Army played with great confidence and their good work paid off at last when their wing three quarter Sudaraka Dikkumbura scored a try in the 9th minute after some deft ball handling by the players. Full back Gayan Salinda's attempt at goal had the right height but lacked direction. Army took a 5-0 lead.

Air Force then scored an outstanding try with the involvement of all the forwards and backs. They kept the ball in their possession for a long time and at last sent Amila Bandara to score their first try. Charith Seneviratne made no mistake with the conversion and they now took the lead 7-5. Stunned by the reversal Army began attacking once again and were dangerously close to the try line, but they lost possession and Charith Seneviratne ran through the defence for another try under the post, which he converted. Charith put over a penalty in the 30th minute to increase the Airmen's lead to 17-5. Air Force then dominated play and in the 35th minute flanker Chaminda Udayakumara scored a try. The conversion was missed by Charith Seneviratne, but Air Force now had a comfortable 22-5 lead.

Army came storming back to put pressure on their opponents which ended with them being awarded a penalty try. The first half ended 22-12 in favour of Air Force.

Army started the second half similar to the first half but this time they scored a try. It was prop Ashok Jayalal who went over and Gayan Salinda added the extra points to reduce the lead to 22-19. Army scored another great try minutes later and this time it was the turn of prop S. Nanayakkara to cross the line. Gayan Salinda once again did the honours and Army now led 26-22.

Charith Seneviratne put over a penalty for Air Force to narrow the lead 26-25. Army fly half Ashan Bandara then got into the act and scored the third try of the second half and Gayan Salinda made the conversion.

They now led 33-25. Air Force scored a last gasp try when Gihan Perera scored which was converted by Charith to finish the game 33-32 with Army winning.

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