by S. M. Jiffrey ABDEEN -Kandy Sports Correspondent
Vidyartha College did not have things easy as they had to fight a bitter battle before posting a 41 points (3 goals, 4 tries) to 19 (2 goals, 1 try) win over Ananda College in their Kandy leg of the William Gopallawa Shield rugby encounter played at the Nittawela Rugby Stadium Kandy yesterday. At half Vidyartha College led 17-14.
Before the commencement of the match the two teams were introduced to the chief guest Minister of Public Transport Services C. B. Ratnayake and other special invitees Bharatha Dodankotuwa, Prabath Seritunga, P. A. S. Alwis and others from both schools.
The final score line does not tell a true story of the bitter struggle which was witnessed in the middle with the Ananda College forwards putting up a brave fight.
In fact the score was 27-19 till about four minutes to go when Vidyartha scored two goals which made their victory comfortable.
The scoreboard moved after 15 minutes of play when Ananda’s winger Woshan Randiva cut through to touch down by the right corner flag. Scrum half Asanka Hemaratne added the extra points, Ananda 7-0, two minutes later Vidyartha College reduced the lead when centre Kavindu Perera scored first of his four tries and scrum Chamath Fernando failed with a difficult kick at goal.
At this stage Vidyartha College lost the services of their play maker fly half Ashan Bandara due to leg injury was replaced by S. Chandrasekara. This was a bad blow for the Vidyarthians who appeared to have lost their pace.
In the 22nd minute Vidyartha College took over the lead when their fullback Isuru Lakmal joined the three quarters to score mid left. Chamath Fernando added the extra points. Vidyartha 12-7.
This lead was short lived as Anandians were once again in the front through a try by centre Nadeera Kodituwakku which was goalled by Asanka Hemaratne. Ananda College 14-12.
In the 25th minute Vidyartha College worked their line and centre Kavindu Perera far left which was not goalled by Chamath Fernando. Vidyartha 17-14.
After the teams had changed ends Vidyartha College moved the ball and full back Isuru Lakmal gave the finishing touches to score by the right corner flag and this not converted Vidyartha 22-14.
Ananda College came back briefly into the game through a try by winger Chanuka Saranath which went unconverted. Ananda 19-24.
The closing stages of the game was dominated by Vidyartha College with centre Kavindu Perera scoring two tries and Chamath Fernando one try and two of them were goalled by Chamath Fernando to make the final tally look comfortable. Dimithri Gunasekera refereed.
The tally of the series stands at 22 wins by Ananda, 21 by Vidyartha and one match drawn. If this win is counted then Vidyartha and Ananda will have 22 wins each.