Thomians retain Archibald Perera Memorial Trophy
By Jason Perera
The firm favourites S.Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia edged out a fighting St.Peter’s College Bambalapitiya by 23 points (4 tries, 1 penalty) to 23 (3 tries, 2 conversions, 1 penalty) in their 62nd Traditional encounter played for Archibald Perera Memorial Trophy at St.Peter’s College Sports Complex at Bambalapitiya.
At half time the Thomians led 20-19.
The Thomians started off brilliantly and raced to a score of 5 points to 0 after scoring an unconverted try through their big prop forward Jonathan Bulathsinhala as he barged over from close range in the fourth minute for the first try of the game.
The Peterites managed to crawl their way back into the game through fullback Kushan Tharindu, who shoved off a couple of tackles and danced his way over to score the first try.
Immediately from the restart, Peterite flanker Hirun Gunarathne charged down the clearance kick from Thomian scrumhalf Mahith Perera and scored a runaway try to take control of the game. Emith Jayaweera managed to bisect the uprights on both occasions as the hosts turned the momentum in their favour after a disappointing start to the game where they went on to lead the match by 14 points to 5.
Beyond the second try, Peterites went back into a shell and the Thomians pounced on some lacklustre play from the hosts. The boys from Mount Lavinia managed to take back the lead through three consecutive tries. The first one came from halfback Mahith Perera who took the ball from the ruck and sneaked through to score. Bulathsinhalage missed the conversion and St.Peters retain the lead by 14-10
Next scoring for the Thomians came from centre Rehan Wickramasuriya who broke through the first line of defence and beat the fullback to score a brilliant solo try after covering nearly 40 metres. Bulathsinhalage missed the conversion but this time S.Thomas regained the lead by 15 points to 14.
The Thomians fourth try was scored by Janidu Dela who went over the line to touch down. Surprisingly the fourth conversion also was missed by reliable place kicker Yehan Bulathsinghalage but they went into a 20-14 lead.
Soon speedy winger Chathumina Nethsara scored for the Bambalapitiya lads after Vindhya De Mel missed an easy penalty for the home team.
At half time it was S.Thomas who led 20 points to 19.
After the turn around Peterites dominated the game with two penalties in the second half but Vindya De Mel managed to slot in only one of the two Penalties to go into a lead of 22-20.
But the Thomians did well to come back into the game after an equally dominated second half though the home team had more opportunity to score.
But finally Thomian place kicker Yehan Bulathsinghalage was on target with a 30 metre match winning penalty kick to take back the lead 23 points to 22.
Peterites could have still ended as the winner, if not for Vindya De Mel sitter conversion of 20 meters in front of the posts which went astray.
At the end of full-time the final score stood at S.Thomas College Mount Lavinia 23 points to St.Peter’s College Bambalapitiya 22.
Referee: Dilum Deeshana
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