Kandy SC retain Clifford Cup
With a thrilling 17-16 win over Navy Sports Club in
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