Isipathana Sink Gritty Antonions

Getting back on their winning track, Isipathana College was forced to fight hard to qualify to the semifinal spot of the Milo Knockouts when they overcame the fighting Antonion’s 29-28 in a close encounter at Sugathadasa Stadium.
Passion and fight were the features which reflected in the quarter-final of the Milo knock-out game between Isipathana College and St. Anthony’s College Kandy this evening. The league runners up were tipped as favorites but the determined Antonion outfit was no pushover and played deadly as the game progressed.St.Anthony’s kicked off play in sunny weather conditions to start off proceedings. A shabby first 10 minutes was witnessed as both sides took time to settle in to the game.

However 15 minutes down the clock St.Anthony’s was the side to open the score line when Jithen Daulagala broke through the Isipathana defense in their own red zone to jump over for a try. The conversion was missed by Samuel Maduwantha. (SACK 05 – IC 00).

Isipathana was held back by the firm defense line of St. Anthony’s and was barred from two scoring opportunities, but subsequently managed to cross the line through Umesh Jayamanne who leveled scores for his side through an unconverted try. (SACK 05 – IC 05).

Mid into the game, the Antonion back line fumbled the ball which was well countered by Isipathana who toiled through their line creating No.11 Nadeesh Chahinda to score under the posts. Manilka Ruberu sliced the ball with ease through the posts to add the extras. (SACK 05 – IC 12).

The game did not stop for the Antonions as they tussled their way to score twice through Full back Dinuja Wikramarachchi and lock forward Dinesh Rodrigo before half time. (SACK 15 – IC 12).
Samuel Maduwantha had a jinxed start with his boot as he failed to convert all three tries and gained poor distant with his punts. But nevertheless the Antonions walked in to the dressing room taking the lead at lemons.With a dose of power post half time, St. Anthony’s rode to a flying start when Maduwantha crept his way through the gaps which subsequently created Rodrigo to score his second try. He also chipped the conversion with ease (SACK 22 – IC 12).

Antonion icon Maduwantha proved that his boots still had its magic when he pierced in an exquisite drop goal from the 40 meter line to take his teams lead further (SACK 25 – IC 12).

Despite the nitrous play from St. Anthony’s, the green machines pounced back, post a penalty earned line out in the red zone through a driving maul which created Sudeera Gayanath to touch line in the left corner for un unconverted try. (SACK 25 – IC 17).

Mishap by Isipathana caused them to give away a penalty inside their own 22 line, which Maduwantha took a go at posts and put in the kick easily to increase his sides lead. (SACK 28 – IC 17).

Having an 11 point lead and 10 minutes to play, the Antonions seemed to be on top, but the die-hard spirit of the Isipathana lads earned them another try through Randy Silva who slithered his way through to score an under the post try. Ruberu added the extras to reduce the margin. (SACK 28 – IC 24).

With a tight affair being contested swift thinking and play by Isipathana earned them another unconverted try through fly half Anjana Thushan in the left corner. (SACK 28 – IC 29).

Trailing by a single point, St. Anthony’s had one more chance in getting things right and Maduwantha tried his way with a drop goal attempt but missed by inches to get it through. Through that referee Roshan Fernando blew his long whistle which gave Isipathana College the ticket to move on to the semifinal of the tournament.

By -  The Papare


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