Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 18 September 2011





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Kandy SC retain Clifford Cup

With a thrilling 17-16 win over Navy Sports Club in classic final:

Kandy Sports Club beat Navy Sports Club in the grand finale of the Caltex Clifford Cup by 17 points (2 goals and a penalty) to 16 (three penalties and a goal) to clinch the Cup for the 17th occasion and the fifth year in succession with a superlative display in the first half at the Royal College Sports Complex grounds yesterday.

Kandy Sports Club's Sajith Saranga evades a tackle by Navy skipper Yoshitha Rajapaksa with more support coming his way from team mates Fazil Marija and Kishore Jehan in the Cliffort Cup final played yesterday at Royal Sports Complex which Kandy SC won 17-16 to win the trophy for the 17th time. Pix: Kavindra Perera

Both teams fought tooth and nail till the final whistle where the Kandy Club dominated the first half by scoring all their 17 points and the sailors coming back with a vengeance in the second half to score a goal and a penalty.

Kandy SC opened scoring in the eleventh minute when scrum half Roshan Weeraratne fired over a 25 metre penalty from an acute angle. It took about fifteen minutes for the sailors to invade the Kandy territory due to the tight defence formed by the winners. The sailors stormed into the Kandy goal line when hooker Namal Rajapaksa made a daring run only to be brought down by a Kandy defender. In the 20th minute Navy's place kicker Dev Anand's unerring kicking found the equalizer, but Winger Mohammed Jabbar put Kandy in the lead again when he scored off a ruck and Roshan Weeraratne gave them the extra points.

Just before lemons Kandy extended their lead further when Eranga Weerakkody's clearance kick was smothered by Fazil Marija who ran to touch down under the posts to give Weeraratne an easy kick at goal.

Kandy led 17/3 at half time. Navy came back fighting after the short whistle and really got their act together. Number 8 Bilal Hassan and scrum half Suranga Pushpakumara rattled Kandy with their robust play. Dev Anand put over two penalties early in the second half to bridge the gap 9/17 , and the sailors were desperately looking to forge ahead. They gave some anxious moments to Kandy near their goal line with a fierce attack and finally Prop forward Sathya Ranatunga scored a try converted by Dev Anand minutes before the final whistle to make it 16-17. Nizam Jamaldeen refereed.



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